BUSINESSMAN and “The People’s Blesser” Malcolm X has pledged to pay R500 000 in a desperate attempt to get convicted Walter Sisulu student Sibongile Mani out of jail.
Mani was found guilty of theft after she allegedly splashed R800 000 of the R14-million on parties and designer clothes.
The money in question was erroneously paid to her by Intellimali, a service provider contracted by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), in 2017.
Hoping to get Mani out of jail, Malcolm X took to social media on Wednesday and pledged R500 000 in donation.
“I, Malcolm X aka Business, hereby pledge R500 000 towards the R818 000 that the Walter Sisulu University (WSU) student, Sibongile Mani, ‘accidentally’ used from the R14m that was ‘accidentally’ transferred to her bank account, provided the payment of this money will lead to her immediate release from prison.”
Malcolm further urged other concerned entrepreneurs to donate the other R318 000 to round up the R818 000 that she
“I urge responsible entrepreneurs to donate the other R318 000 to round up the R818 000 that she ‘accidentally’ used for herself and other students.”
On Wednesday, the East London Regional Court’s magistrate Twanet Olivier said that a suspended sentence
was not appropriate for Mani and sentenced her to five years in jail.
Olivier further said that Mani spent money not on essential items to stay alive, adding that she spent the cash on luxury items “inspired by greed and not need.”
“The court has a duty to impose a fearlessly appropriate and fair sentence even if such a sentence would not satisfy public opinion,” Olivier said.
“The only form of sentence deemed fit by this court is that of direct imprisonment and you are
sentenced to a term of 5 years imprisonment,” said Olivier.
Meanwhile, Mani’s lawyer has argued that she never intentionally tried to deprive the NSFAS of the money in question.
The state, however, charges that Mani failed to report the error and embarked on a spending spree.
According to the state, between 1 June, when the money landed in her account, until 13 August,
when NSFAS uncovered the error, she had spent an average of R11 000 per day.
The then accounting major student was due to receive her monthly R1 400 food allowance, but because of what was described in court as a “ridiculous and absurd technical glitch”, R14 million was credited to her account.
– Inside Education