Millionaire student 'traumatised'

06 September 2017 - 06:36 By Jan Bornman
Friends form a protective screen around Sibongile Mani this week.
Friends form a protective screen around Sibongile Mani this week.
Image: Sino Majangaza

Sibongile Mani, the student whose bank account was erroneously credited with R14-million, is living in fear, while the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania, the organisation of which she is a branch secretary, is trying to shield her.

Mani's life was turned upside down when it was revealed that she had spent more than R800,000 of the money that had been mistakenly paid into her account.

The student movement called a press conference at the Walter Sisulu University's Buffalo City campus on Monday.

Mani was called on by students to "pay back the money".

The money was paid by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme through financial administration company IntelliMali.

The student movement's chairman, Vuyo Langeni, said it wanted to "set the record straight".

"Last week the university gave their statement, IntelliMali gave their statement and NSFAS gave their statement, but we never got a chance to tell our side of the story," he said.

"We want to ask how her personal and confidential information came out. Her student number, ID number and even the course she was studying [were] leaked. She is now living in fear," he said.

Langeni said the student movement wanted to help Mani get a lawyer who would represent her without charge, and arrange counselling for her.

"She's traumatised. We are trying by all means to ensure she is in a friendly and safe environment," Langeni said.

IntelliMali has opened a case of theft.