Guilty: NSFAS ‘millionaire’ Sibongile Mani sentenced to five years behind bars.

 Guilty: NSFAS ‘millionaire’ Sibongile Mani sentenced to five years behind bars.

Sibongile Mani has been sentenced to five years in jail. Mani was found guilty of theft. She spent more than R800,000 of NSFAS money mistakenly sent to her account.

Magistrate Twanette Olivier found Sibongile Mani guilty of theft on 7 February after she used R818 000 of the R14 million that was accidentally deposited into her student account on 1 June 2017. She was only entitled to a R1 400 monthly allowance.
After the R14 million windfall, she went on a two-month spending spree.
Mani arrived at court in a black Pan African Student of Movement of Azania (Pasma) T-shirt, black leather pants and running shoes. She is a former Pasma secretary and chairperson.
Dozens of Mani supporters were seated in the packed the gallery on Wednesday.
During pre-sentencing arguments on Tuesday, State advocate Jacques Cilliers told the court that the State wanted nothing less than the minimum sentence of 15 years for the offence.
Cilliers told Olivier that the court needed to send a strong message to deter other students. He said the offence Mani committed was serious because it involved public money.
But Mani’s lawyer, Asanda Pakade, argued that NSFAS confirmed to the court that it never lost any money.
The money was paid to Mani by IntelliMali – a Cape Town-based company hired by Walter Sisulu University (WSU) to disburse funds to needy WSU students. The money used by Mani and handled by IntelliMali, was a portion of a R100 million paid to WSU by NSFAS to fund needy students. It came from the Department of Higher Education and Training.
Pakade asked the court to give Mani a suspended sentence and community service under correctional supervision.

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