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SA Student spends N22.5m in 73 days after receiving N389m Financial Aid in Error



Sibongile Mani | Photo Credit: Facebook

A South African student Sibongile Mani is currently in trouble after a system error led her into a spending spree.

The accountancy student at Walter Sisulu University (WSU), received a payment of R14.1 million (over N388m) – instead of R1‚400 (N38,500) spent about R818‚000 (N22m) between June 1st and August 13th, 2017 when it was reversed.

According to TIMES Live, Intellimali, the company that administers financial aid allowances at the school, said it is treating the case as fraud.

Intellimali’s CEO Michael Ansell in a statement on Wednesday said:

The investigation is ongoing and legal action will be taken against the student.

Intellimali is currently in talks with NSFAS (National Students’ Financial Aid Scheme) and WSU to determine the most appropriate action to be taken.

While all other students received their usual monthly allocation of R1‚400; she received in error an allocation of R14.1 million.

When the error was discovered in early August 2017‚ she had misappropriated R818‚000.

During the period in question‚ Intellimali was managing the monthly food allowance of R1‚400 for thousands of students at WSU.

Regardless of the outcome of the investigation referred to later‚ Intellimali takes full administrative and financial responsibility for the incident. Neither the funder‚ National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) nor the university (WSU) have erred in any way and they are not responsible for this. In addition‚ no student’s financial aid support will be affected in any way.

We have already put in place the necessary controls to prevent an incident of this nature ever happening again.

As is our standard practice, Intellimali deactivated that student’s allowance and notified the university that we would investigate the matter.

In this case, the investigation proved to be complex, highly technical and time consuming. It required the attention of both internal professionals and external experts,” he said.


University spokesperson Yonela Tukwayo said the university had been notified that Mani went on a “lavish” spending spree.

“People started complaining after she started living a very lavish lifestyle.

All students who were supposed to receive their money, did receive their money. This didn’t negatively affect any students.

Some students picked this up from the very lavish lifestyle she started living. We will also be looking into how this money was spent to buy some of the expensive goods.

It was very callous and she did not report the matter immediately. She will definitely be held responsible‚” she said.

Mani is the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) Buffalo City Campus branch secretary.

Samkelo Mqhayi, deputy branch secretary of South African Students Congress (SASCO) and SRC student support officer, said he was the one who outed Mani.

“She used to sport neat cornrows but she had recently started wearing a R3000 Peruvian weave.

She also bought an iPhone 7 for herself and all her friends. She suddenly appeared at lectures wearing designer clothes.

She threw surprise birthday parties for her friends and used some of the money to fly to events like the Durban July.

Suspicions grew after a receipt from Spar was leaked showing a balance of just over R13.6-million. I called NSFAS offices to check if this was true and NSFAS confirmed that the initial amount was R14-million.

Obviously, after the slip was trending on social networks students started connecting the dots on how she has been living a luxurious life in the past few months,” Mqhayi said.

The receipt | Photo Credit: Facebook

Speaking on Wednesday she said: “It’s difficult, very difficult but I will get through (it).” When asked to tell her side of the story, she said: “I am not ready.”

Photo Credits: Facebook


  1. SUSU

    September 1, 2017 at 12:00 am

    she should have invest the money rather than spending lavishly.

    • Honestina

      September 1, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      One day, I went to the market to buy corn dough from my regular seller. She wasn’t around so the tomato seller in the next stall offered to sell to me.
      She started heaping and heaping the dough in the bag and I realised she was serving me more then regular so I told her she was giving me more than the original seller does for that amount. The lady looked at me shocked and I told her I was/am an honest person and wouldn’t do to others what I don’t want be done to me.
      What this girl did is the real definition of Dishonesty. Even if she fed her entire village with the money, what she did is wrong. This money is easy to trace and she should ve done the Nobel thing by reporting the case. Well, its too late and I hope she’s dealt with to deter others.
      May God keep Dishonest people out of our way for eternity.

  2. nina

    September 1, 2017 at 12:04 am

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOL this one don enter one chance

  3. Anon

    September 1, 2017 at 12:48 am

    “She used to sport neat cornrows but she had recently started wearing a R3000 Peruvian weave.”

    Like the one in the picture? Yaki looks better than it.

  4. Mexxy

    September 1, 2017 at 1:45 am

    Blame social media


    September 1, 2017 at 2:51 am


    • ec

      September 1, 2017 at 7:23 am

      @temitope how can you drag her like that and say she is ‘trashy’?
      she is simply someone that hasn’t seen that type of money before.

  6. Le coco

    September 1, 2017 at 5:53 am

    not condoning this but why shld they prosecute her? the money was deposited into HER account.. when money is accidentally deposited there is a 40 day period in which the money can be ..reversed this is a clear case of negligence.. how do you not notice tht the money is missing for 6 months.. thy were trying to cover their tracks.. hoping people won’t notice.. im sorry are there no accountants in student finance dept?

    now as for the girl.. of all she bought is weaves and phones then for real poverty mentality is real.. but I doubt it.. I refuse to believe that she didn’t dp something smart with her money. weaves are nd phones cannot account for such a huge some of money… Most of us wld have done the same thing.. whilst investing or buying property( which is a process) I wld also go and buy a few of my favourite things.. im sure thé média is only mentioning such material things to make her alsooppear irresponsible.. lets See her. bank statement then we’ll know if she is nd smart or dumb.

    If not for the fact that the money was intended to assist other under privileged students wld tell her to keep it all…. Because She didn’t steal that money…. how was the department balancing their accounts for 6 Good Months.. with that some of mone missing.. ? They were given a certain amount of money so when such an amount is missing thy shld know.. Nd they shld hv contacted the bank immediately….

    The girl shldnt have to repay the money she has spent sha.. but the remainder shld be sent back to help other students.. The school shld come up with the rest of the money .. and fire the entire department for that stupid mistake

    • Anonymous

      September 1, 2017 at 6:52 am

      Real naija mentality! She did not steal the mine. You didn’t say anything about being dishonest, do you know how this can mar her future? No bank will employ her, employers look for people with integrity and spending money that does not belong to you or not earned shows the kind of person she is. She knew it was no manna from heaven

    • Ross

      September 1, 2017 at 7:18 am

      You sound like a Thief. If money is accidentally debited from your account, what would you say to the person who gets it? You’ll tell them to keep it, it’s theirs???? Money you haven’t worked for isn’t yours, simple.
      This student girl is a Thief and should be persecuted

    • Le coco

      September 1, 2017 at 7:26 am

      what does naija mentality have to do with anything. what about the naija mentality of the accountants who deposited the money and kept quiet.. trying to cover their tracks…. maKing such a mistake is understandable but SIX MONTH.. I know how the uni systems esspecially these loan systems work in these schools.. THERE IS NO WAY THE DEPARTMENT DID NOT REALISE THEIR MISTAKE..

      Mind you this isn’t the first time such mistakes have been made.. In other cases it was small sums of money.. 1k, 2k.. In thosé instances the students in question were not asked to pay back the money.. neither did the alert the dept.. so why shld she..

      When such money is missing there is no way they don’t realise is st..its too huge asked sum… That mney cld have easily been reversed…40 whole days.. you are putting such money kn the account of someone who is st underprivileged.. whose parents cant afford to pay school fees.. now she has such money and she has the means to bring her family out of poverty nd u expect she doesn’t spend the money? most people would do the same thing.. Would i? No.. but only because I am more honest but also because I don’t know what it feels like to be poor. to have a family that can’t afford basic amenities.. so it can’t pretend it know… I have seen these students..

      This whole mess happened because someone in that department wasn’t honest enough to say o made afford re mistake… They tried to cover it up

    • Baby gurl

      September 1, 2017 at 7:59 am

      You obviously didn’t read the entire thing. Anyways you’re just as dishonest a person as her. She misappropriated funds that she knew were/are not hers. Parties, travel etc. Transfer errors are not a new thing. Go back to the article and duduce the correlation between the intended amount and the actual amount sent. Just an error in the number of zeros. So if money is sent to your account in error you’d spend it right? EFCC will come for you. Whether you spend it on property or icecream, you have committed a crime. And she should be prosecuted. This is why Nigeria is like this. Corruption is ingrained in the DNA of the average person. It would take at least 10 generations for Nigeria to be free from corruption and “national cake” entitlement mentality. God help us.

    • Nefertiti

      September 1, 2017 at 9:10 am

      How did 73 days become 6 months?

    • Ijebujesha

      September 1, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Wow. @ Le coco. You just showed that Nigerians will always be Nigerians. It’s a shame that many people now feel that stealing is very ok. Why am I even surprised at your comment? Before yours, there was ‘free evans’..What a people!

    • ***

      September 1, 2017 at 10:26 am

      @le coco you are funny in a criminal way
      How much of the 14million did she use in alleviating her ‘family’s poverty’? All I see is bags, hair and parties … I am almost certain she didn’t inform her family of her ‘good fortune’ because she knew it was bad
      This is unacceptable behaviour and shouldn’t be condoned

    • Mawi

      September 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      Le Coco you are a THIEF! Yes, it was a mistake. Yes it was negligence on their part. But does that mean it’s okay for the girl to take what’s clearly not hers? Are u even serious? See the long essay u dropped justifying the girl’s actions, na wa o. I am sure u are one of those who also condemn Nigerian looting leaders, yet u are here trying to justify this one. It’s very likely you are a thief yourself and I hope u are also disgraced for reaping where u haven’t sown. Keep supporting ur fellow thieves o, it will come back to u full circle. Let’s see if u would defend those who steal from ur hard earned money. Olé.

  7. Baby gurl

    September 1, 2017 at 7:44 am

    She’s just simply a dishonest person. An honest person would have alerted the school or the fund administrator. It’s not that she spent the money on human hair, parties and whatnot. It’s that she did not report what she clearly knew was an error. For those that didn’t read, the fund administrator has taken up the financial responsibility already. She can’t even pay. But she’s obviously been charged with fraud and misappropriation. It is well. This should be a good lesson in Honesty101.

  8. OnPoint

    September 1, 2017 at 8:16 am

    This is crazy, mehn. I hope someone doesn’t become suicidal

  9. ***

    September 1, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Na wa o! I cannot believe some nigerian comments … Anyway nigerians are largely dishonest … lol
    Is ‘poverty’ a reason to steal and cheat?
    How poor was she sef that she had to steal 14million rands? Is not like she was sleeping on the streets or had very sick parents
    Girl was extremely greedy and dishonest … she should be made to apologise and return the rest of the money … she’s only 19 and in college and didn’t really harm anybody so I strongly suggest no legal action be taking against her for sympathy sake (that’s if she’s contrite o)
    Then the administrators in charge should be punished for such a stupid mistake and negligence … did their records not show misappropriations? I mean books have to balance now?!

    • ***

      September 1, 2017 at 10:30 am

      ***legal action be TAKEN*** bellanaija please edit option

  10. Cocolette

    September 1, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    I am ashamed to see Nigerians steadily supporting fraudulent and criminal activities very boldly. That’s how human beings can come up with something like ‘#freeEvans’. At this point I don’t know if there’s I still hope for Nigeria anymore

    • Mawi

      September 1, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      There’s no hope. Most Nigerians are evil. The honest ones are too few in number to make a substantial difference. #pissed af!

  11. nene+

    September 1, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    This lady is completely dishonest. Why didn’t she report such huge irregularity?

  12. Bea

    September 1, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Being honest could have taken her places in life.
    If she had reported the case, she would be highly celebrated and will gain grounds for her in the future.

    Remember the security guy in UBA that saw a bag with foreign currency which a customer forgot in the banking hall, he got my much more from the management of the bank and was highly celebrated because of his honesty.

    Likewise a student in Ibadan Poly that went to the ATM machine to withdraw 2k left in his account and met N9m when he checked his balance. He reported the case, was offered money and immediate employment after graduation by the bank.

    I know this particular situation is not in Naija but:

    A good name is better than silver and gold.

    Honesty pays.

  13. Itsjusme

    September 2, 2017 at 1:38 am

    SHe should have transferred the money in a high interest account so when they came to claim the money she would have money to herself

  14. Uberhaute looks

    September 3, 2017 at 12:54 am

    Not all Nigerians are desperate and we’ve seen cases where most lost but found money was truly returned here in Nigeria

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