Reports say a South African student embarked on a spending spree and treated herself to the good things of life after a bank error credited her account with about $1 million.
On the 1st of June 2017‚ Sibongile Mani, a student at South Africa’s Walter Sisulu University (WSU) received the payment for her monthly food allowance. But while other students received their usual monthly allocation of R1‚400 ($100), she received in error, a payment of R14.1 million ($1 million), according to the local website Times Live.
Investigations have revealed that Mani was overpaid from the account of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) which gives out loans to student to be repaid after graduation.
The error was not discovered until sometime in August, and the authorities say they would hold the student accountable for every dollar she (mis)spent.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Walter Sisulu University confirmed the incident and said the student had already spent some of the money.
”I can confirm that she received R14m into her Intellicard account,” university spokesperson Yonela Tukwayo told reporters.
”I can also confirm that the student is liable for every cent,” said Tukwayo.
Intellicard is the company that administers the account of students financed by the NSFAS. The company issues a debit card to students, which is credited with a monthly allocation for food and books.
According to Tukwayo, people began to suspect the student after she suddenly acquired a taste for a very lavish lifestyle which involved splurging on designer outfits, expensive weaves and a brand new Iphone 7.
The university spokesperson added that she suspects a possible case of collusion between the student and some of the merchants who are authorized to sell food and books to students, vowing that the university would launch an investigation into the incident.
However, reports in News24 say Ms. Mani has since come out to refute the allegations of financial misappropriation.
In a Facebook post, Mani who is an official of a Pan-African student governing body, admits receiving the money, but claims it has been reversed.
”The answer is simple. NSFAS made a mistake and allocated more money in a wrong account and that account happened to be mine,” she wrote.
”So I am not denying anything, the money was indeed loaded on the 1st of June and reversed on the 13th August.”
She argued that she filed a report to the student’s representative council immediately when she discovered that she had been overpaid.