Poor Student Lives High Life After US $1M Financial Aid Error
A student who received a staggering $1,080,000 instead of her usual $108 monthly university financial aid is in hot water after going on a massive, 73-day spending spree with her friends.
Accounting student Sibongile Mani, 27, who was on benefits to allow her to study, was said to have undergone a Cinderella-like transformation overnight after the cash blunder.
Mani, who studies at Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa, gets $108 each month put into her bank account, which she is supposed to use to pay for food and books.
But instead, Intellimali, the company that administers the financial aid allowances at the university, messed up and sent $1,080,000 in cash to the poor student.
Eyebrows were raised initially when her neat cornrow hairstyle was replaced with $230-a-pop Peruvian weaves and she began wearing designer outfits and bought a brand new iPhone 7.
She began flashing the cash to her closest friends. They’d get new outfits and enjoy $65 bottles of whisky while they jetted around the country to attend wild parties.
Suspicions grew when a receipt from a local convenience store leaked online showing that she had $1,050,000 in her account.
She was finally outed by Samkelo Mqhayi, deputy branch secretary of the South African Students Congress (SASCO), who reported her to the National Students’ Financial Aids Scheme.
Mqhayi told Herald Live: “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.”
“When the receipt was leaked showing a balance of R13.6 million ($1,050,000) in her account, I called NSFAS and they checked their records and confirmed that the initial amount was R14 million ($1,080,000).” (New York Daily News)