Red Pepper Uganda

SA Student Who Received $1m In Error Charged With Theft

A South African student who spent more than $63,000 (£47,500) of $1.1m she received by mistake has appeared in court on a charge of theft.

Sibongile Mani, a 28-year-old accountancy student at Walter Sisulu University, was arrested by the police’s serious commercial crime unit after she was asked to hand herself in, Anelisa Feni, spokeswoman for an elite police unit, the Hawks, told AFP news agency.

She qualified last year for $110 a month in food allowances from the government’s National Students Financial Aid Scheme, which helps underprivileged students.

However, she was mistakenly transferred $1.1m in June and went on a spending spree, using $63,000 to party and to buy expensive clothes.

After the scheme detected the blunder three months later, it recovered the remainder of the money from her bank account.

Ms Mani was not asked to plead during her court appearance today.

She was released on warning and ordered to appear again on 2 July.

Ms Mani has gained some sympathy and criticism on Twitter

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