American rapper Mos Def (real name Dante Smith Bey) will be leaving South Africa on Tuesday night after he apologised to the South African government for contravening the South African Passports and Travel Documents Act.
The rapper, who’s also known as Yasiin Bey, has been living in the country since 2013 but was stopped from leaving in January.
According to South Africa’s immigration laws, foreigners entering and departing from South Africa require a valid passport. Def, however, was arrested when he attempted to leave South Africa in January with a document called a “World Passport” which SA does not recognise as a valid passport.
Speaking at a press briefing, Director General at Home Affairs Mkuseli Apeni, said he has accepted Smith Bey’s apology and will grant him the opportunity to leave the country tonight, without further action taken against him.
“Mr Smith Bey has unreservedly apologised to the Government of South Africa and more particularly to the Department of Home Affairs for his actions and for any inconvenience or prejudice this may have caused,” Apeni said.
“The department is satisfied with the apology, and has agreed in principle for him to depart from South Africa on Tuesday using a valid passport.”
Apeni says the rapper will no longer be granted access to South Africa in the future as he has been declared an “undesirable person”. However, the Department of Home Affairs says he is welcome to apply for a waiver should he be returning to the country for a good cause.