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Sibongile Mani, a student, was convicted of stealing R818 000 meant for disadvantaged students and was sentenced to five years in prison.

She is, however, demanding that her sentence be vacated or that she be placed on probation. In two weeks, we’ll find out if her request for leave to appeal both her conviction and punishment is granted.

On June 1, 2017, Mani was found guilty of stealing R818 000 after R14 million was mistakenly deposited into her account. She was only entitled to R1 400 in meal allowance and was accused of failing to declare when R14 million was placed into her account improperly.

Rather, she went on a shopping spree.

According to news24, she will be eligible for parole after completing one-third of her five-year sentence and might serve the remaining three years under correctional supervision.

In handing down the sentence, East London Regional Court Magistrate Twanette Olivier stated that the court felt that a suspended term was completely improper.

“The only permissible consequence is incarceration without parole, thus you are sentenced to five years in prison.” The court, according to Olivier, took Mani’s status as a first-time offender into consideration.

In response to the defense’s contention that Mani’s potential future should not be cut short by the court. “You, and alone you, made that decision on June 1, 2017, and you repeated it for 73 days, several times every day,” Olivier said Mani.

If IntelliMali had not returned the money she spent to WSU, 585 students who relied on NSFAS funds to study at WSU would have been hurt, according to Oliver.

IntelliMali is a company situated in Cape Town that is responsible for providing NSFAS payments to students.

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