DURBAN – South African businessman Malcolm X has pledged R500 000 towards the R818 000 spent by Sibongile Mani, which resulted in her five year prison sentence.
Malcolm X made the pledge on his Instagram account on Wednesday, when the East London Regional Court Magistrate, Twanette Olivier, sentenced Mani to five years behind bars for stealing R818 000 of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funds in 2017.
The court dismissed Mani’s plea for a suspended sentence.
Mani was erroneously credited with R14 million in her NSFAS student account.
Earlier this year, Mani was found guilty of theft relating to R14m which had been put into her account by Intellimali, a service provider for NSFAS.
business_malcom_x said“ “I, Malcolm X aka Business, hereby pledge R500 000 towards the R818 000 that the Walter Sisulu University (WSU) student, Sbongile Mani, “accidentally” used from the R14m that was “accidentally” transferred to her bank account, provided the payment of this money will lead to her immediate release from prison.
“I urge responsible entrepreneurs to donate the other R318 000 to round up the R818 000 that she “accidentally” used for herself and other students. #StudentChallenge.”
According to reports, Mani spent the money on alcohol, cigarettes, blankets, clothes for men, handbags, furniture, beauty products and groceries at a supermarket, in a period of two months.
In her judgment Olivier ruled that Mani knew what she was doing was wrong, but that she had proceeded to spend the money anyway, in a well-planned manner all over the country.
Malcolm’s pledge has left Twitter divided:
Im just wondering how many students will that R500k will help so that they graduate rather than helping someone who buy booze and weaves 🥺— Siwidipsey (@siwidipsey) March 30, 2022
The issue is not around paying back the money, issue its about using funds that doesnt belong to you.— Dj Qhawe (@qhawemth) March 30, 2022
Good gesture, kindly explain what you mean by "accidentally used"?— Terrence Brand (@t9s6e8bo) March 30, 2022
Was the accident in her
1. eyes ie she saw R1400 instead of R14m, even as the balance ⬇️ with each purchase OR
2. Hands that uncontrollably drew cash at ATMs or swiped for purchases in excess of R1400?
She knew exactly what she was doing.— Kim Mosiane (@mosianekk) March 31, 2022