The new 'Randela'. Photo: Sizwe Ndingane.

Cape Town - Fake versions of the new banknotes featuring the face of Nelson Mandela are in circulation, prompting the SA Reserve Bank to urge the public to be wary of being fooled into accepting counterfeit money.

The bank’s spokesman, Hlengani Mathebula, said on Tuesday that they were aware of isolated cases of counterfeit notes of the new banknote series.

“The public are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the security features of the new South African banknotes and to examine them to ensure that they are genuine before accepting them,” he said.

“Remember that it is a criminal offence to use and pass on a counterfeit note knowingly. Ensure that you know the security, technical and design features of the new banknotes. Report any suspect notes to the South African Police Service.”

The SABC reported this week that it had a fake R100 bill in its possession.

“The fake does not have a watermark. When held to the light there is no shadow of Nelson Mandela. The silver security thread does not bear the coat of arms or the words ‘SARB’ and ‘rand’,” the SABC reported.

Cape Argus