An undergraduate who was mistakenly paid R14.1 million (£844,000) by South Africa’s National Student Financial Aid Scheme has appeared in court.
Sibongile Mani, a second-year accountancy student at Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape province, qualified for a R1‚400 monthly food allowance but received the huge sum in error last June, Times Live reported.
It took three months for the NSFAS to detect the error, by which time she had allegedly spent R810,000 of it.
Suspicions were raised when the student allegedly began spending money on a new phone, clothes, parties and gifts for her friends. Samkelo Mqhayi‚ the deputy branch secretary of the South African Student Congress, was said to have reported Mani after he came across a receipt showing that she had a bank balance of R13.6 million.
After handing herself in to police, Ms Mani appeared at East London Magistrates’ Court on 29 May, charged with theft.
Ms Mani was released with a warning and will appear in court again on 2 July.