South Africa Law
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Was the estate reported in South Africa?
Has the Master issued a certificate that released you from your duties as executor?
The only way that you would be able to open a bank account is to re-open the estate. I recommend that you visit or come into contact with the Master's Office at Pietermaritzburg with a view to open the estate again and have the letters of executorship re-issued. Then taking it from there.
If you still struggle, then perhaps approach the Pension Fund Adjudicator for assistance. They act like an Ombudsman for pension funds and may be able to assist to get through the red tape
Only a pleasure