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Johannesburg apologises to Mandela for billing blunder

Last Updated: Monday, August 5, 2013 - 23:40

Johannesburg: Pay up or else your water and electricity supply will be cut, ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela has been told.

A day after sticking a notice on the door of Mandela`s upmarket residence threatening to cut utility services, Johannesburg city council apologised for the "unfortunate incident".

The council had sent a bill demanding Rand 6,468.48 (USD 660) from the 95-year-old peace icon who is admitted to a hospital in Pretoria for nearly two months for a recurring lung infection.

The City of Johannesburg today said that a pre-termination notice was mistakenly sent to Mandela`s Houghton residence over the weekend.

Eyewitness News reported that it found the notice dated August 1 stuck to the door threatening to cut services.

It stated that his account had been in arrears for over 30 days. It indicated that services would be cut off and legal action taken unless the amount was settled within 14 days.

However, the city now says the account number stated on the notice belongs to another customer`s property in a neighbouring suburb.

"The city wants to convey an apology to the Mandela family for any inconvenience caused by this unfortunate incident."

The city admitted the problem was not isolated and issued a general apology to anyone affected.

"Currently customer data is being cleansed and updated and therefore occasional errors like this may occur. We wish to apologise to any customer who might have had a similar experience."

The statement says a full investigation into how the error occurred has begun and action will be taken against those involved. Officials have been sent to the Mandela Centre of Memory to apologise for the embarrassment to the family.

According to the latest update from The Presidency, the global icon remains in a critical but stable condition and continues to show signs of improvement.


First Published: Monday, August 5, 2013 - 21:24

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