Student goes on spending spree after receiving £850,000 instead of an £85 loan

Sibongile Mani

When you're a hard-up student dealing with your finances can be a struggle. Beans on toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and soul-destroying part-time jobs just to pay for textbooks. It's not cheap.

Well, one young woman has experienced every student's dream situation.

Sibongile Mani allegedly received £850,000, instead of the usual £85 she usually gets every month, as a grant from her university for food and books.

Instead of the second-year accountancy student’s usual allowance, Intellimali, the company administering financial aid on behalf of Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha, South Africa, reportedly gave her 14 million Rand.

Mani then allegedly started started using the extra income on shopping sprees and a lavish lifestyle.

Intellimali has said it will investigate the case, according to Herald Live.

The publication explained that other students suspicions were raised when Mani "underwent a Cinderella-like transformation," changing her hair, wearing designer clothes and using an iPhone 7.

One student told the Herald Live:

She used to sport neat corn-rows and sometimes pushed back her hair, but she had recently started wearing a R3 000 Peruvian weave

She also bought an iPhone7 and clothes for herself and each of her friends.

She suddenly appeared at lectures wearing designer clothes and she pimped up her crew of friends.

Samkelo Mqhayi, deputy branch secretary of Sasco, said he was the one who had outed Mani to the National Students' Financial Aids Scheme, explaining that suspicions were raised after a SPAR receipt showed over R13.6 million in her account.

"I called the NSFAS offices to check if this was true and the NSFAS confirmed that the initial amount was R14-million," he explained.

Questions have been raised about the validity of the receipt however, as the date clearly states it was printed in 2009.

Sasco branch chairman Zolile Zamisa told Herald Live that they were "shocked" by the story.

Not so long ago, we were protesting for thousands of students who were left without funding due to a shortage of funds.

[Yet] she was living a lavish lifestyle, hosting birthday parties for her friends at up-market champagne clubs and other expensive hangouts.

While University spokesperson Yonela Tukwayo assured Times Live that if the allegations turned out to be genuine, Mani would most likely face the consequences:

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

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