NSFAS big spender to have her day in court

According to Tim​esLive, NFSAS discovered what had transpired after Sibongile Mani and her friends were spotted buying expensive weaves and iPhones. (Getty Images)

According to Tim​esLive, NFSAS discovered what had transpired after Sibongile Mani and her friends were spotted buying expensive weaves and iPhones. (Getty Images)

A Walter Sisulu University student who received R14.1-million from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) after the finance scheme accidentally transferred it into her account appeared in the East London Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

The student, Sibongile Mani, was asked to hand herself over to the Hawks office where she was then arrested by the Serious Commercial Crimes Unit on a charge of theft.

Mani received the whopping cash sum in June last year and proceeded to spend R810 000 over a period of three months.

READ MORE: WSU student accidentally receives R14m NSFAS deposit

It took an additional three months before NSFAS detected the error. According to TimesLive, NFSAS discovered what had transpired after Mani and her friends were spotted buying expensive weaves and iPhones, and partying with whiskey which goes for R700 a bottle.

TimesLive reported that it was Samkelo Mqhayi‚ the deputy branch secretary of South Africa’s Student Congress (Sasco) and SRC student support officer, who outted his fellow student leader in August last year after he grew suspicious after coming across a Spar receipt showing a balance of R13.6-million.

NSFAS then issued a series of tweets distancing itself from the bonanza payout, shifting the blame to IntelliMali, the company which runs the system which pays and administers student funds.

Intellimali last year said Mani would be held liable to repay the money and could potentially be criminally charged.

Speaking to media in September 2017, IntelliMali chief executive Michael Ansell said that following Mani’s spending spree, the company had implemented the necessary controls.

Mani has been released on a warning and will appear in court on July 2. 

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Mashadi Kekana
Gemma Ritchie

Gemma Ritchie

Gemma Ritchie works in the Mail & Guardian's online department. She majored in English Literature at a small liberal arts college in the USA. 
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