South Africa's central bank has to destroy more than 3.6 million defective 100 rand banknotes worth a total of nearly 34 million euros ($43 million dollars), the Sunday Times reported.
The bills, printed in Sweden, bear the same series numbers as a series printed locally, the report said, quoting the central bank's spokesman, who would not confirm or deny that they bills would be destroyed.
Moreover some of the notes printed in Sweden were neither the right colour nor size -- coming up short by about a millimetre -- which poses problems for automated counting machines.
South Africa is redesigning all of its bank notes this year to bear a portrait of first post-apartheid president Nelson Mandela.
The backs of the new bills will retain pictures of South Africa's big game, a major tourist draw. The 100 rand note has a buffalo on the back.