Yasiin Bey Has His Day in South African Court
Updating a story with international intrigue, Yasiin Bey, the rapper formerly known as Mos Def, appeared in a South African court on Tuesday (Mar. 8) albeit briefly and without uttering so much as a single word. As Yahoo reports, the 42-year-old rapper was initially turned away for refusing to remove the turban he was wearing, but eventually returned with a scarf loosely draped over his head. Once inside, prosecutors requested a two week postponement of the hearing, making Bey's next court appearance March 24. He will remain free on what amounts to roughly $300 bail in the time between.
Bey was arrested back in January for attempting to leave the country on what authorities alleged was a fraudulent world passport. In a recorded statement via Kanye's website, the rapper denied any wrong doing, saying, "I am currently in Cape Town South Africa and I am being prevented from leaving unjustly, unlawfully and without any logical reason.” Shortly after, Bey's charges were announced and included using a false identity, using an unrecognized travel document and helping his family stay in the country illegally. According to reports, Bey's family had proper visas that expired in April of 2014. They too are subject to court proceeding.
While the charges leveled against Bey are quite serious, a solution of leaving the country and never returning seems simple enough. In that same statement, Bey said, "My family and I are prepared immediately to make whatever move that we need to make outside of this state, never to return to this state again." While in court Tuesday, Bey was accompanied by a small group of friends and was reportedly expressionless.
XXL will continue to update this story as news develops.