A student who infamously spent R800,000 which did not belong to her has been elected as the new treasurer of a convocation committee at a popular South African university. The student was convicted of fraud and five years in prison.
Sibongile Mani has been elected as treasurer of the Walter Sisulu University (WSU) convocation committee. The WSU Convocation assists the institution and the WSU foundation in raising funds. The election took place last week and Mani secured 79 votes for the position while her competitor secured 29 votes. Mani’s campaign manager, Athenkosi Fani says the journey for Mani to get to this point was not easy and their election as treasure proved that she is capable of getting the job done.
“Your vote for her is a clear indication that your voice is more powerful than negative media attention. Your vote proves that you believe in Sibongile Mani’s vision and ability to handle the situation ”
Fani says Mani showed incredible strength and resilience throughout this entire process and has remained steadfast in her commitment to serving people and has remained an independent voice for change.
Mani came to national attention after it was discovered she had erroneously received R14 million instead of R1,400. This money was paid to them from a service provider contracted to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) distributing allowances to Nsfas-funded students. They subsequently spent around R800,000 before the error was discovered.
In February 2022, Mani was found guilty of theft by the East London Regional Court. At the time, Nsfas distanced themselves from the prosecution of Mani.
Nsfas explained that they did not institute any legal proceedings against the former bursary holder as there was no basis to do so. They added that it was the service provider, Intellimali, who took the student court.
Intellimali was a service provider hired by WSU to distribute Nsfas allowances.
A group of student activists from Walter Sisulu University have called into question the motive behind Sibongile Mani’s guilty conviction.