‘World traveller’ Mos Def given 14 days to leave South Africa

15 January 2016 - 17:52 By TMG Digital

The Department of Home Affairs has given American rapper Mos Def‚ real name Dante Terrell Smith‚ and his family 14 days to leave South Africa‚ a spokesman says. This follows his arrest in Cape Town for not having a valid passport.

“The South African Police Service (SAPS) has charged him with usage of fraudulent travel documents. The matter is currently before the courts‚” Home Affairs ministerial spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said via Twitter. The arrest was on Thursday.

“Mr Smith has been living in SA with his family without the necessary permits‚ he was detained upon departure for using illegal travel documents‚” Tshwete said of the charge Smith was facing.

Expanding on the charge‚ Tshwete later explained that the performer came into SA with a legitimate US passport‚ “but since overstayed his visitors permit”.

“Mr Smith was departing SA using a ‘World Passport’. South Africa does not recognise a ‘World Passport’.”

"An order has been issued to Mr Smith's wife‚ mother and four children to depart the country within 14 days. This order will be monitored by immigration officials," the department said in a statement.

"Minister Malusi Gigaba has reiterated that immigration officials‚ in the course of exercising their duties‚ ought to apply the law without fear of favour," the statement added.

Mos Def‚ who also calls himself Yasiin Bey‚ cancelled a planned tour of the States last year due to what his publicists called “legal and immigration issues”.

Tshwete‚ responding to shock responses from music lovers to news of the arrest‚ showed his human side‚ commenting: “We are all fans guys...but the law is the law”.