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South Africa deems Wesley Snipes ‘undesirable’

South Africa has declared actor Wesley Snipes an “undesirable person” after the Hollywood star was found traveling on a forged South African passport.
/ Source: Reuters

South Africa has declared actor Wesley Snipes an “undesirable person” after the Hollywood star was found traveling on a forged South African passport.

Snipes, who starred in the “Blade” movies, was stopped at Johannesburg airport on June 1 after immigration officials noted a problem with his passport number.

“During the interview it was established that Mr. Snipes did in fact have fraudulent South African documentation in his possession,” the Department of Home Affairs said in a statement on Thursday.

Snipes, who also had a valid U.S. passport, was allowed to depart but was officially declared an “undesirable person,” meaning that unlike most U.S. citizens he will have to apply for visas for future visits to South Africa.

The Department of Home Affairs said Snipes, who said he had applied for the South African documents through his U.S. attorneys, had agreed to participate in an investigation of the incident.

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South Africa’s Home Affairs Department, which issues passports and other identity papers, has in recent months been plagued by a number of corruption scandals involving false or fraudulent documentation.

The problem -- including a syndicate which obtained false documents by illegally “marrying” foreigners to unwitting South African women -- has raised concern over South African passports being misused, although officials say they toughening up internal monitoring.