*Rapper Yasiin Bey, a.k.a. Mos Def, was officially declared “an undesirable” by the South African Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and was told on Tuesday (Nov. 22) to leave the country immediately, according to local reports.
The announcement comes nearly one year after he was arrested for violating an immigration law in Cape Town in January 2016.
“Mr. Smith Bey was arrested Cape Town following his attempt to leave South Africa using a document called a world passport, which South African does not recognize as a valid passport,” the DHA’s official statement reads, according to News24.com. “Following this incident, the department leveled criminal charges against him. Before the process was finalized, the department received a written apology from Mr. Smith Bey, for contravening the provisions of the Immigration Act No 13, of 2002. Mr. Smith Bey had also contravened the South African Passports and Travel Documents Act, No 4 of 1994.
“In his apology, he acknowledges and accepts the Immigration Act sets in place a system of immigration control, which, inter alia, regulates and administers foreigners entry into, residence in and departure from the Republic of South Africa and that in doing so, the Immigration Act prescribes that a foreigner may only depart from the Republic of South Africa if he/she is in possession of a valid passport.
— HomeAffairsSA (@HomeAffairsSA) November 22, 2016
The Director-General Mkuseli Apleni announced that, for his conduct in January, Mos Def will be declared an undesirable by South Africa’s DHA, which means that he “will not qualify for a port of entry visa or admission to the republic.”
“Based on his apology and the confirmation that he will depart on 22 November 2016, using a valid passport, the department will withdraw the charges against him on Friday, 25 November, in his absence,” the DHA’s statement reads.
However, Bey will be able to apply for a waiver, for good cause, in terms of Section 2 of the Immigration Act of 2002.
Back stateside, Bey has partnered with the Apollo Theater and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to present his final U.S. performances.
The special engagements will begin with a Dec. 21 show at Harlem’s Apollo. Then he’ll head to Washington, D.C. for a Dec. 31-Jan. 2, 2017 New Year’s Eve celebratory run at the Kennedy Center.