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Thursday 8 December 2016

US rapper Mos Def arrested in South Africa over false passport claim

Published 15/01/2016 | 14:06

Mos Def has reportedly lived in Cape Town since May 2013
Mos Def has reportedly lived in Cape Town since May 2013

US actor and rapper Mos Def has been arrested in South Africa for travelling with a fraudulent passport, a government spokesman said.

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The New York-born star, who now goes by the name Yasiin Bey, has appeared in court after being arrested at Cape Town International Airport on Thursday.

Department of Home Affairs spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete said the 42-year-old told officials he was carrying a "world passport".

The spokesman said: "There is no such thing."

As well as his music career, Mos Def - born Dante Smith - has starred in films such as The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, The Italian Job and Life Of Crime.

South African newspaper the Mail and Guardian said he has lived in Cape Town since May 2013.

Mr Tshwete said Mos Def produced the unrecognised passport when he tried to leave South Africa.

He had entered the country on a US passport in 2013 and overstayed his visitor's permit by 2014, the spokesman said.

A court order to leave the country means the rapper is banned from South Africa for five years, but he may appeal to officials for leniency, Mr Tshwete said.

Press Association

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