She spent R818‚000 in 73 days – how long will it take student to pay it back?

01 September 2017 - 14:12
By Jan Bornman
Walter Sisulu University student and Pasma leader Sibongile Mani
Image: Supplied Walter Sisulu University student and Pasma leader Sibongile Mani

How long could it take Walter Sisulu University student Sibongile Mani to repay R818‚000?

It took the second-year accountancy student just 73 days to splurge R818‚000. The money was part of an erroneous payment of R14.1-million - instead of her usual R1‚400 monthly food allowance.

It could take significantly longer to repay the money - enough to comfortably buy a brand new Audi Q5 2.TDI S Quattro or a Range Rover Evoque SE SD4 for cash.

Intellimali‚ the company responsible for the administrative error that caused the payment‚ said Mani would be held liable to repay the money and could potentially be criminally charged.

"She will definitely be held responsible‚" said Yonela Tukwayo‚ spokesperson for Walter Sisulu University.

What neither organisation is clarifying‚ yet‚ is exactly how the money will be recouped. Will there be an agreement stipulating monthly repayments? Does the student have any assets that could help settle the debt? Will they charge interest? Is it even feasible that the all money can be recouped?

For now‚ there are more questions than answers.

Until the facts become clear‚ we can only speculate using repayment scenarios faced by consumers saddled with a debt of R818‚000.

Let’s say an aspirant property portfolio owner purchased an apartment worth R818‚000. Doing a rough calculation‚ including an interest rate at 10.25% and the loan spanning 20 years‚ the purchaser would have to earn around R26‚700 a month to meet the repayment obligation of just over R8‚000 – per month.

With interest‚ the total repayment would rise to around R1.1-million.

Condensing the repayment to six years – as would be the case with a luxury vehicle purchase – would see the figure rocket to approximately R16‚200 a month.

Intellimali CEO Michael Ansell said in a statement that the company had implemented all the necessary controls following the discovery of the incident.

"The student ... did not report the oversight but chose rather to access the funds. When the error was discovered in early August 2017‚ she had misappropriated R818‚000‚" he said.

"The investigation is ongoing and legal action will be taken against the student‚" he said.