Report: Mandela Banknotes Defective, ‘Counterfeiters’ Haven’

Report: Mandela Banknotes Defective, ‘Counterfeiters’ Haven’

A defective security thread, the most visible feature on the new Mandela banknotes rolled out in November, could be a “counterfeiter’s haven,” according to a report in Independent Online.

The security thread was meant to be embedded in the note, but lifts off easily, the report said.

However, the South African Reserve Bank denied reports that the security thread’s loft means the notes are defective and pose a security risk, according to another report at ITwebFinancial.

“The thread is lifting up on notes that have been over-used,” said reserve bank spokesman Hlengani Mathebula. “It is an issue of over-use and not an issue of the notes being defective… It’s one of the many features that are in the note.”

Other security features in the Mandela note include raised printing, micro-printing only visible under a magnifying glass, a watermark and color-changing ink, the report said.

The notes are printed by the South African Bank Note Company and a Swedish company, Independent Online reports. They are produced by a German company.

The South African Reserve Bank, which wholly owns South African Bank Note Company, admitted to “isolated complaints” about the defective security thread on lower denomination notes, according to Independent Online.

Mathebula said in the ITwebFinancial report that the reserve bank will not be recalling bank notes. He encouraged the public to continue using the notes that have the thread lifting up, as it is legal tender.