Ricochet News

Police investigating R14 million Walter Sisulu University overpayment as fraud

By Yolanda Palezweni - Sep 5, 2017
Police investigating R14 million Walter Sisulu University overpayment as fraud

The South African Police Service (SAPS) on Tuesday confirmed that they have opened a case of theft in connection with the alleged National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) overpayment  that saw a female student at the Walter Sisulu University in East London receive R14 million on her book and meal allowance.

Sibongile Mani, who is a Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma) branch secretary at the university, however, spent over R800 000 of that R14 million over five months until the fraud was discovered.

According to the police, officials from Intellimali, the company that distributes the NSFAS funds to students at the university, laid a charge of theft at the Berlin police station on Tuesday.

The company said that, while it acknowledged the error on its part in loading R14 million instead of the R1 400 that was due to the student, it was going to recover every cent spent by the student.

The fraud was only discovered after rival South African Students Congress (SASCO) members got a copy of Mani’s receipt, which immediately went viral.

Apparently, Mani had splurged on lavish parties and luxury items for friends during her five months as an accidental millionaire.

“The case has been assigned to a seasoned investigator and the standard investigative procedures will now be followed,” said police spokesperson, Brigadier Marinda Mills.