Who authorised the R14 million student loan? Apparently, this amount was paid into 28-year-old student Sibongile Mani’s account. According to an IT expert, any government payment for such a large amount of money must go through at least 3 levels of authorisation.
Who authorised R14 million student loan and why?
Of course, University fees are expensive. Additionally, a google search indicates the most expensive courses can average between R25 to R75 thousand a year. Importantly, none of the figures investigated reveals an amount of R14.1million. Theoretically, a student can buy a small university library and earn an honorary Doctorate for generosity at that price.
Sibongile Mani arrested
Sibongile Mani, on her arrest in May 2020 had spent R810‚000 of the R14.1 million in her account. Moreover, she failed to alert NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) of their mistake. Alarmingly, NSFAS did not uncover this mistake. Rather, a fellow student, Samkelo Mqhayi outed her. Mqhayi is deputy branch secretary of SASCO (South African Students Congress) and SRC student support officer.
How did the R14.1 million escape 3 levels of protocol
Undoubtedly, R14.1 million is a vast amount of money. Surely, questions arise around the authorisation of that amount. Importantly, NSFAS did not signal any alarm. Why? Arguably, could the money have been destined for an account holder more nefarious that Sibongili Mani?
Parliament request an investigation
Parliament requested an investigation. Moreover, South Africans have no expectation of anything concrete surfacing. Importantly, Intellimali‚ the company responsible for the distribution of NSFAS funding say the amount due to her was R1400.00 according to their files.
Apparently, the Committee chairperson for Higher Education and Training, Connie September says “The report from Intellimali is still unable to identify the source of the error and does not even say how the error occurred.” Additionally, an unnamed Forensic Auditor is said to have cleared Intellmail and NSFAS of any wrongdoing. Unsurprisingly, no one is accountable.
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