Mos Def, now known as Yasiin Bey, has been arrested for violating local immigration laws while trying to leave South Africa.
According to the spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs, Mayinlome Tshwete, the rapper has appeared in front of a South African court after he was arrested in Cape Town International Airport this Thursday.
Mos Def last entered the country in 2013 using his very much legal American passport. By 2014, he had overstayed his visitor’s visa. According to the spokesperson, Mos Def attempted to produce a “world passport,” something which is not legally recognised as a traveling document in South Africa or anywhere else for that matter, apart from perhaps Burning Man.
After fronting court, the rapper and his family (who also failed to produce valid documents) were given a court order to leave the country, which essentially means that Mos Def has just 14 days to vacate the country, and may potentially be facing a five-year ban from stepping foot in South Africa.
The rapper moved to Cape Town in 2009 and was scheduled to go on an American tour in 2014, but ultimately had to cancel the shows, citing immigration and legal issues.
The rapper has returned to the spotlight somewhat in 2015, penning a powerful rap in the wake of the Paris attacks, joining Kendrick Lamar onstage for Alright, and challenging everyone to a rap battle. He very nearly visited our own shores last year to perform as Black Star with Talib Kweli at Soulfest, but the event was cancelled due to poor sales.
Apart from having a solid rap career, Mos Def is also fairly well known for his acting chops, appearing alongside Jack Black and Danny Glover in Be Kind Rewind and playing the eccentric Ford Prefect in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy alongside the late, great Alan Rickman, who voiced Marvin, the Paranoid Android.