Sibongile Mani will now behind bars until 2027, after she splurged her illegally-acquired NSFAS fund
The gavel has come down hard on Sibongile Mani, after she was sentenced to a FIVE-YEAR prison sentence on Wednesday afternoon. The former Walter Sisulu University student erroneously received millions of rand from #NSFAS, and instead of raising the red flag, she went on an almighty spending spree.
Who is Sibongile Mani? #WSU student jailed for spending spree
In 2017, more than R14 million was wrongly deposited into her account, instead of R1400. Within three days, Mani spent over R800 000 – before her account was eventually blocked. She never reported the error to NSFAS.
It is believed that she splurged the money on weaves, cellphones, and luxury goods. Intellimali has since reimbursed the institution for the staggering amount of money Mani is said to have squandered.
At the time of the incident, Mani was the branch secretary of the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania at East London’s Postdam campus – but her freedoms have now been severely curtailed.
NSFAS funds ‘spent freely’ by fraudster
The case itself has been highly divisive, and the judgment is already following suit. A five-year sentence is a tough punishment, there’s no doubt about that, but is it an appropriate one?
The consensus amongst South Africans is split into two camps. There are those who believe Sibongile Mani has done nothing worse than some long-serving politicians who have openly looted the state. Justice has so far evaded many of these bigwigs, but the same luxuries haven’t been afforded to Mani.
Others, however, insist that justice has been served. Mani unarguably broke the law, and her spending spree almost topped R1 million after just a few days – an expense that could make Anna Delvey blush.
Alas, the court of public opinion counts for nothing once the judge has made a final decision. Sibongile Mani will now be directly imprisoned, with her sentence lasting until 2027. An appeal against the verdict is likely, though.