A South African college student was living the life.. all on the government’s dime.
27 year old Sibongile Mani got an unexpected blessing when she accidentally received $1 million of financial aid money. As a student at South Africa’s Walter Sisulu University, she’s normally get the equivalent of $100 a month stipend for food and books. So you can imagine her surprise when she noticed a couple more zeros were added.
Now let’s say you were in the same position as Ms. Mani was, essentially receiving more money than was intended. I would think the last thing you’d want to do is bring unwanted attention to yourself. Unfortunately the accounting student didn’t pick up on this piece of wisdom when she started going on several shopping sprees for her and her friends.
Local media reported that she started to attend classes in designer outfits and also threw over-the-top parties for her friends. It was the sudden extravagant lifestyle that raised suspicion and led to another student alerting school officials.
“She bought an iPhone 7 and clothes for herself and each of her friends,” one student told the outlet. “She suddenly appeared at lectures wearing designer clothes and she pimped up her crew of friends.”
Officials have estimated that Mani spent over $60K of the million dollar financial aid amount. Since then, her financial aid account has been blocked and the remaining money was transferred out. Mani has also been ordered to pay back the money she spent, with threats of legal action being issued as well.
In a now deleted Facebook post, Mani proclaims her innocence, stating that she alerted financial aid officials when the large amount dropped.
“Today my personal life has become a social media scandal. I have been named and shamed in public. Today, I am a bad person, a person who stole the money of students,” she wrote, according to Herald Live. “With that being said, and being named a thief, but as we all know in every story there is truth and there are lies with the very same story.”
So at this, it’s she said, they said.