Sibongile Mani, a student attending the Walter Sisulu University (WSU), accidentally received a payment of a whopping R14 million from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and has already spent roughly half a million of it, the university confirmed on Tuesday, 30 August 2017.
A university spokesperson, Yonela Tukwayo, speaking about the error said that ”I can confirm that she received R14m into her Intellicard account. I can also confirm that the student is liable for every cent.”
Tukwayo highlighted that the company responsible for the student payments should have picked up the error immediately after it was made earlier this year.
Tukwayo said Sibongile Mani had reported it to the university, but she had allegedly spent R500 000 of it over the past five months. Sibongile Mani, who took to social media to defend herself in a post, admitted to receiving the money and that it had been subsequently reversed.
”The answer is simple, NSFAS made a mistake and allocated more money to the wrong account and that account happened to be mine. So I am not denying anything, the money was indeed loaded on the 1st of June 2017 and then reversed on the 13th August 2017.”
Sibongile Mani has questioned why the issue has been made public and defended her actions stating that ”As a responsible person and a member of Pasma, I went straight to the SRC to report this matter.”
NSFAS looked to distance themselves from the matter and have shifted the blame to IntelliMali, the company that runs the Intellicard system which pays and administers student funds.
— NSFAS (@myNSFAS) August 30, 2017
The story has caught the imagination of the South African public who took to twitter to share their thoughts on the R14 million NSFAS saga.
Here are some of the best reactions:
— Thabane Sibisi?? (@thabanesibisi) August 31, 2017
— Skupu. (@nonyana_mabefo) August 31, 2017
Thousands of our Brothers & Sisters rejected by #NSFAS kanti 14m is in someone's card
I wonder how much money the officials have in theirs
— Plastic Surgeon to be (@_sindarin) August 30, 2017
— Karabo Mokgoko ? (@Karabo_Mokgoko) August 30, 2017
Possibly the scariest thing about the #NSFAS payment is that no one missed R14mil for 5 MONTHS! How does that even happen?
— Kirsty Blair (@kirstblair) August 30, 2017
— DJ Fresh (Big Dawg) (@DJFreshSA) August 30, 2017
— AJ ? (@JonaAndile_7) August 29, 2017
I'm tired of playing Lotto and not winning so I'm now gonna enter the #NSFAS multimillionaire draw instead.
— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) August 30, 2017