It looks like even more bad news is headed Mos Def’s way. After reports broke that the revered Brooklyn MC, who also goes by the name Yasiin Bey, was reportedly detained in South Africa for traveling with reportedly false documents, The New York Times states that he’s been hit with three charges by the country’s officials.
According to Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni, Def, born Dante Smith, will face charges of using a false identity, hosting his family illegally in South Africa, and utilizing “an unrecognized travel document.” There was speculation around the validity of his world passport, but as analyzed in various reports, the document has been used in South Africa since 1996.
Tuesday night (Jan. 19), the “Mathematics” rapper sent Kanye West a voice message detailing his circumstance. “Anyone can do the research about the world passport; it’s not a fictitious document,” he said. “It is not meant to deceive or derive unlawful benefit from any nation’s state, at all. In fact, the world passport has been accepted here on numerous occasions in South Africa, in ports Johannesburg and Cape Town as early as 1996 and as late as 2015.”
He later continued to state that he believes the government has ulterior motives in this case. “I’ve made no false claims. I have not misrepresented myself,” he said. “I’m under unnecessary state supervision and scrutiny, and I have reason to believe or suspect that there are political motivations behind the way I’m being treated, because this is following no reasonable train of logic.”
Mos Def will appear in court on March 8, while his family received the date of Jan. 29 to leave the country due to expired visas.