A South African couple has blown R9-million erroneously paid into their business bank account by a municipality.

Dr JS Moroka local municipality spokeswoman Masabatha Ramatsetse said the couple’s company had been contracted to provide construction services for a water reservoir project amounting to R1.6-million.

Instead, the municipality mistakenly paid them R10.6-million 10 months ago. “The municipality would like to state that the company was consulted after the erroneous payment was identified and they refused to pay back the overpaid amount,” Ramatsetse said yesterday.

Ramatsetse said internal disciplinary processes were also already under way and the municipal employee responsible for approving the transaction had been suspended.

The couple, aged 51 and 48, however, lost two-thirds of the windfall on a deal that went sour which they hoped would bring them more money. The rest of the money was spent on vehicles, including a R629000 Jaguar.

The pair cannot be named as they have not yet pleaded on the charges they face.

They appeared in the Mdutjana Magistrate’s Court in Siyabuswa on Monday for allegedly helping themselves to the extra R9-million that was mistakenly paid to them. sowetan