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Mandela threatened over 'unpaid' utilities bill

AFP

Authorities in Johannesburg admitted Monday they had mistakenly delivered a utilities bill to Nelson Mandela's upmarket home and threatened to cut the ailing icon's water and electricity supply.

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The city authorities in Johannesburg, South Africa, were forced on Monday to apologise to ailing former president Nelson Mandela – for mistakenly threatening to cut off his electricity and water supply.

A 6,500-rand (500 euro) bill arrived at the Nobel Prize winner’s house on Saturday, threatening "discontinuation or restriction of services" and legal action if the 30-day arrears were not paid,

The city, which has faced a barrage of complaints from residents for bungled bills, said the notice was supposed to have been delivered to a different house.

"The address and account number stated on the notice belong to another customer and property in a neighbouring suburb, not to the Mandela residence," said city spokesman Kgamanyane Maphologela.

"The city wants to convey an apology to the Mandela family for any inconvenience caused by this unfortunate incident," it said in a statement.

It is not the first time an errant bill has embarrassed the city. Last month a bill for 3.5 million rand (270,000 euros) was erroneously sent to the African National Congress (ANC) party's headquarters.

Mandela has been receiving treatment for a lung infection in a Pretoria hospital since June 8.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

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