Mos Def was arrested at Cape Town airport while attempting to board a flight to Ethiopia. He had entered South Africa with a legitimate US passport last year, but tried to leave using a “World Government of World Citizens” passport which was established in 1953 by the late peace activist Garry Davis, an American who renounced his citizenship after World War II.
Dante Smith, Mos Def, 42-year-old hip hop artist, actor and activist, who has used the name Yasiin Bey for five years, was freed on bail of 5,000 rand ($350, 334 euros).
According to the Home Affairs department;
“This is clearly a vindication of the position we had taken on this matter, including the fact that we do not recognise the world passport,”
“Mr Smith Bey (Mos Def) has applied for and will be travelling out of the republic on a US passport.”
“He would be declared an undesirable person and not be allowed to return to South Africa”.
Mos Def is believed to have been staying regularly in Cape Town for several years.
Def, via superstar Kanye west’s twitter feed at the time of his arrest said;
“I haven’t broken any law. And I’m being treated like a criminal,”
In his acclaimed hip-hop career Mos Def has produced classic solo songs as well as albums with Talib Kweli in the duo Black Star.
The world passport is not officially recognised.
Written by Clement Oluwasegun