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South African Student in Hot Water After Spending an Accidentally Deposited $1 Million Dollar Financial Aid Stipend

By Victor Trammell

Photo credits: Sibongile Mani/Facebook

A black female college student who lives in South Africa is facing serious consequences after spending a $1,080,000-dollar monthly financial aid stipend that was deposited in her bank account by mistake.

According to the New York Post and various other media outlets, Sibongile Mani (pictured), 27, a student at Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa got herself into trouble after her customary $108-dollar per month financial aid stipend was mistakenly deposited in her bank account at an amount 10,000 times larger than usual.

Mani is studying accounting at Walter Sisulu University. However, the most novice student of this financial discipline would presumably know the difference between $108.00 and $1,080,000.00. Mani’s monthly financial aid stipend is supposed to go for food costs and books.

Instead of reporting the major monetary mix-up, the financially challenged student allegedly went on a two-month spending binge, says Samkelo Mqhayi, the deputy branch secretary of the South African Students Congress.

“She threw surprise birthday parties for her friends and showered them with expensive gifts and flew them to events where she bought the best seats,” Mghayi told the Herald Live, a newspaper based in South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Bay province.

“When the receipt was leaked showing a balance of R13.6 million ($1,050,000) in her account, I called [the National Students’ Financial Aids Scheme] and they checked their records and confirmed that the initial amount was R14 million ($1,080,000),” Mghayi continued.

Mani’s alleged actions have infuriated top leadership officials at the South African Students Congress. One of the members claimed the governing body supported protests for students who were upset about education funding shortages. All the while, Mani was supposedly living it up having the shopping spree of a lifetime.

“[Mani] was living a lavish lifestyle hosting birthday parties for her friends at up-market champagne clubs and other expensive hangouts. This cannot be allowed to happen again,” Zolile Zamisa told the Herald Live. Zamisa is a branch chairman of the South African Students Congress.

In a Facebook post, Mani expressed regret but tried to divert responsibility for the actions she has been accused of. “This [National Students’ Financial Aids Scheme] saga has me fearing for my life — I regret utilising these funds. But I will never hurt myself,” Mani posted in a message on Wednesday (August 31st).

“Goniwe Emihle, Philani Khanyile and Asandile please speak out guys and tell the truth, I must not suffer alone!” she posted the next day.

Mani faces charges of theft and a forensic investigator has been appointed to pursue aggressive legal action against her, according to the New York Post.

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