Yasiin Bey Reportedly Arrested Trying To Leave South Africa

Update: Bey’s representative disputed the allegations to Okayafrica.

January 15, 2016
Yasiin Bey Reportedly Arrested Trying To Leave South Africa Loic Venance AFP / Getty Images

AP reports that Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, stayed in South Africa significantly longer than his visitor's permit—which expired in 2014—allowed. When he recently tried to leave the country, he was arrested. A Department of Home Affairs spokesman, Mayihlome Tshwete, said Bey appeared in court on Thursday along with members of his family who had also outstayed their (legal) welcome. Now he has to leave the country within two weeks, and he could face a five year ban before he can return.


According to AP, the rapper has lived in South Africa since mid-2013.

Update, 1/15/2016, 12:40 P.M.: Bey's representative says the South African government's "allegations are wrong."

Okayafrica spoke with one of the rapper's representatives, who disputed the story that broke earlier this morning. "From what I’ve read," the rep noted, "[the government's] allegations are wrong. [Bey] attempted to leave the country for a professional commitment and was denied the ability to board an airplane after providing his World Passport."

According to the representative, a World Passport is "issued by the World Service in support of the UN Declaration of Human Rights" and "the South African government has previously accepted the World Passport to enter the country... as recently as August." The rep also averred that the rapper's position in the country is legal and that the South African government "violated his human right to pursue his profession."

Read the whole story here. A representative for Bey did not immediately return FADER's request for comment.

Yasiin Bey Reportedly Arrested Trying To Leave South Africa