Authorities admitted Monday they had mistakenly delivered a utilities bill to Nelson Mandela's upmarket home and threatened to cut the icon's water and electricity supply.
Johannesburg city council apologised for the "unfortunate incident" after the 6,500-rand ($660, 500-euro) bill arrived at the global peace hero's house in the suburb of Houghton over the weekend.
"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 notice threatened "discontinuation or restriction of services" and legal action if the 30-day arrears were not paid, local media Eyewitness News reported.
With Mandela receiving treatment in a Pretoria hospital since June 8, the slip left the city council red-faced.
But it is not the first time an errant bill has embarrased the city.
Last month a bill for over 3.5 million rand ($355,000, 270,000 euros) was erroneously sent to the African National Congress party headquarters.