DANIEL Mpama of Kagiso on the West Rand was thrilled when he discovered that the South African Revenue Service had given him a refund of R12000.
But when the money did not show up in his bank account for several weeks, he approached Sars.
To Mpama's horror his money had been deposited into another person's bank account. He was told by a Sars official that the man could only pay him back at only R250 a month because he had spent the money.
Mpama approached Sowetan for help. Now Sars has told us that Mpama will get his refund next week. The clerk who made the mistake will be be disciplined. And the man who got the money will pay it back.
Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay yesterday said: "We traced the money, which went to the wrong recipient.
"We are in the process of recovering it. The taxpayer's details were incorrectly captured on our database.
"We were able to trace the employee who recorded the wrong data."
An overjoyed Mpama said: "Thanks to Sowetan. I will now be able to erect a tombstone for my child who died in 2003. The rest will pay school fees."
Mpama, 52, filed his tax return in July last year and Sars responded, indicating that he would receive a R12000 refund.
Initially he was told the money had been deposited into his account, but when it did not appear on his account the bank promised to investigate.
He discovered that his money had been credited to the wrong account at another bank.
Meanwhile, an East London businesswoman chained herself to a chair at a local Sars office this week to force it to give her a refund of R140000. The money had been owed to Sandy Nienaber since she completed her 2008 tax returns.
It paid off. The manager gave her a written proof that the money would appear on her bank account today.