Master of High Court apologises for DoJ data breach as services impacted

A legal practitioner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the service at the Master's Office was already slow during the COVID-19 pandemic but the cyber breach had made the situation even worse.

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JOHANNESBURG - Master of the High Court, Martin Mafojane, has apologised for the "regrettable inconvenience" caused by the recent data breach at the Justice Department, with many saying that the security lapse was just the latest in a long history of poor service.

Frustrated and bereaved families claim that they have not been able to access funds from the deceased's bank accounts, while others were unable to access crucial maintenance funds.

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A legal practitioner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the service at the Master's Office was already slow during the COVID-19 pandemic but the cyber breach had made the situation even worse.

"People who are family members and who are breadwinners and need letters of executorship in order to gain access to these bank accounts and that is not happening. They're not dealing with ongoing estates where they need to be wrapped up and commissioned to pay up on certain funds or transfer certain properties. It's just a mess really, where people stand in queues from 6.30am in the morning only for staff to walk in at 10am and say there's been a data breach so they can't do anything."

Mafojane, however, is putting the blame squarely on the data breach and said that he hoped that it would be sorted out soon.

"Out IT has sourced external assistance to make sure that they can restore and return us to normality sooner than we can think but it has taken some time."

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