Rapper Mos Def Finally Granted Clearance To Leave South Africa

Mark Babatunde November 22, 2016

American rapper Mos Def has been finally granted clearance to leave South Africa after being found guilty of breaking immigration laws earlier in the year. The critically acclaimed hip-hop star has lived in Cape Town since 2013. According to the BBC, the rapper, who is also goes by Yasiin Bey, was arrested in January after trying to leave South Africa on a so-called “world passport,” which South African authorities do not recognize as a legal entry permit.

The country’s immigration officials accused the rapper of overstaying his tourist visa obtained sometime in 2013, thus breaking the country’s immigration law.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs through its Twitter account announced that Mos Def had apologized for his actions:

Mos Def will now be classified as an “undesirable” by the ministry, but he may be granted re-entry into South Africa under a visa-waiver program.

The “world passport” is a document issued by the World Service Authority (WSA), an NGO set up by the late peace activist Garry Davis, an American who renounced his citizenship after World War II. The organization cites the right to freedom of movement as stated in the United Nations’ universal declaration of human rights as its reason for advocating for world citizenship. It has been issuing passports since 1954.

The Guardian reports that many countries do not formally accept the passport either as a travel document or a formal identity, but WSA claims countries such as Togo, Mauritania, Ecuador, Zambia, and Tanzania have accepted the 30-page document in the past.

Last Edited by:Charles Gichane Updated: June 19, 2018


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