EFF Accuses Magistrate Twanet Olivier of Judicial Failure Over NSFAS 'Millionaire' Jail-Sentencing

EFF Accuses Magistrate Twanet Olivier of Judicial Failure Over NSFAS 'Millionaire' Jail-Sentencing

  • The EFF is criticising Magistrate Twanet Olivier for initially sentencing Sibongile Mani to 5 years in jail over a financial mishap
  • Calls for a judicial review are imminent in the party as Olivier faces allegations of incompetence, sparking a broader conversation on accountability
  • South Africans are divided on the EFF's actions, with some supporting the party's stance, while others accuse them of bullying

Having covered municipal government intricacies in South Africa at Isolezwe, Phumelele Nxumalo continues to bring her political expertise to the forefront as a journalist at Briefly News.

EASTERN CAPE - Magistrate Twanet Olivier has once again landed on the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) wrong side, this time over her initial sentencing of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) 'millionaire' Sibongile Mani.

Julius Malema and Sibongile Mani
EFF has lambasted magistrate Twanet Olivier over her initial jail sentence of NSFAS 'millionaire' Sibongile Mani. Images: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

In a statement posted on the party's X account, the EFF called Olivier out for having sentenced Mani to five years of direct imprisonment in March 2022 after she splurged more than R800,000 of the R14 million 'mistakenly' deposited on her allowances account by NSFAS in 2017. The Eastern Cape High Court wholly suspended Mani's sentence on 6 November, under the condition that she is not convicted of fraud or theft for the whole five years.

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Olivier faces the EFF's wrath

In the statement, the party accused Olivier of having committed judicial failure. They charged Olivier's judgement of five years in jail of being misdirected, with over-reliance on criminal punishment as opposed to rehabilitative options. They said:

"The misdirection and lack of seriousness by Olivier, and her failure to even explain why she did not consider correctional supervision as an option, is an exhilaration of her extreme laziness and incompetence. Olivier's inability to practice judicial discretion, as stated by the Eastern Cape High Court, reveals an individual with a poor grasp of her role and responsibility."

Speaking to Briefly News, EFF National Spokesperson Sinazo Thambo said as the EFF, they will continue exposing Olivier for her incompetence.

"We must all consider judicial reviewing so she can be put before a judicial service commission for her actions. Magistrates must know that people are watching them closely. Magistrates and judges are not above the law. It's all about accountability," said Thambo.

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South Africans are divided over EFF's sentiments

Taking to the comments section of the post by the EFF on X, South Africans were left divided, with some concurring with the party's sentiments while others felt the EFF was bullying Olivier.

Below are some of the reactions:

@SeageMatenche remarked:

"EFF leadership has been exonerated in its assessment of the said individual. Ayikhale!"

@Bawesto said:

"I want to see those journalists saying the CIC is attacking the judiciary."

@MarkyKhumalo threw some punches at the EFF by saying:

"Always moaning, always hateful, always making statements for the sake of making statements, always manufacturing rage and virtue signalling! Imagine how horrific and miserable life would be under them. This cult is exhausting!"

@CitizenAndile commented:

"This Olivier is a pure racist."

@RonaldMabo80620

"Not surprising; we all know she is incomplete this one."

@gcume_akhile

"It is a norm that a Higher court would sometimes overturn the judgments of the lower court, but that doesn't mean the Magistrates are incompetent. It is worth mentioning that the verdict of guilt was never interfered with. EFF is just bullying and intimidating her."

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Julius Malema Challenges 'Incompetent' Olivier

In a previous similar report by Briefly News, EFF CIC Julius Malema criticised Olivier's conduct during his judgement delivery in the East London Magistrates Court.

Malema expressed his dissatisfaction with Olivier outside the Israeli Embassy, where the party was picketing in support of Palestine on 23 October. Juju called Olivier incompetent for asking a police officer to get Malema's judgement from her office desk during court proceedings.

Addressing what he believes is incompetence by Magistrate Olivier, Malema said as long as the EFF has got a seat in Parliament, he will be a member of the Judicial Service Commission and question incompetent judges and magistrates.

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Source: Briefly News

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