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Treasurer Election Of NSFAS Millionaire Receives Backlash

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Treasurer Election Of NSFAS Millionaire Receives Backlash

Sibongile Mani, also known as the ‘NSFAS millionaire,’ has been elected treasurer at Walter Sisulu University. A former Walter Sisulu University student spent funds from a government financial aid program.

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Treasurer Election Of NSFAS Millionaire Receives Backlash

As part of the Walter Sisulu University (WSU) convocation earlier this week, “NSFAS millionaire”, Sibongile Mani, was elected treasurer.A shocked Democratic Alliance (DA) demands that the WSU convocation explain why Mani was elected.

As a WSU student, Mani was convicted of theft after she spent more than R800 000 of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) – the most sought-after bursary scheme in the country. As a result, Mani received R14 million erroneously, with NSFAS blaming Intellimali for the error.

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According to the DA, this election is a “slap in the face” to deserving students who missed out on funding because of her fraud.

In addition to integrity, objectivity, professional competence, due care, confidentiality, and professional behavior, treasurers must adhere to a number of ethical codes. These ethical beliefs do not correspond with fraudulent activities and corruption.

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The DA asks for the WSU convocation to provide clarity on:

  • The requirements for the treasurer post;
  • Whether those who have a criminal record of fraud and corruption are eligible to apply;
  • Which vetting criteria they use to screen successful candidates

DA is surprised a structure that assists the institution with fundraising would allow Mani to nominate herself for the treasurer position, let alone elect her.

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As part of its efforts to clear student debt, the convocation raised R35 million in recent years, yet ironically elected a candidate with a criminal record of stealing student funds.

It is not the first time WSU has been criticized for fraudulent behaviour and unethical election processes, nor is it the first time the institution has been involved in such scandals. There have been a number of public universities whose reputations have been tarnished in the same way.

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Chantel King, DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education, said, “We will ensure that no public higher education institution is captured through fraud.”

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