'She Must Account': Mzansi Confused About Sibongile Mani Refusing to Take the Stand in NSFAS Theft Trial

'She Must Account': Mzansi Confused About Sibongile Mani Refusing to Take the Stand in NSFAS Theft Trial

  • Sibongile Mani will not be testifying in her theft trial of R14 million of NSFAS funds on the recommendation of her lawyer
  • Mani's legal representative Asande Pakade fears that if she takes the stand Mani might implicate herself
  • South Africans seem to think Mani's refusal to testify might be the same as an admission of guilty

PAY ATTENTION: Click “See First” under the “Following” tab to see Briefly News on your News Feed!

EAST LONDON - Sibongile Mani, the former Walter Sisulu University student who is being accused of stealing millions from NSFAS and splurging the funds on alcohol and shopping sprees will not be taking the stand.

In the closing arguments, Mani's legal representative Asande Pakade reminded the court that, auditing firm Ernst & Young and others absolved his client of stealing the NSFAS funds that were erroneously sent to her account.

NSFAS Theft Trial, Sibongile Mani, R14 million, Walter Sisulu University
Sibongile Mani will not be taking the stand in her R14million NSFAS theft trial. Images: Lulama Zenzile
Source: Getty Images

Mani was also cleared by the company that made the error Intellimali as well as the office of the Public Protector. The Department of Higher Education and Training also probed into the matter and found that Mani did not steal the money.

Read also

SA finds Magashule's bid to have state capture testimonies declared inadmissible in asbestos trial suspicious

Mani is said to have spent over R820 000 of the R14 million and the National Prosecuting Authority wants to determine why she spent the money even though she was aware that it did not belong to her, according to News24.

Enjoy reading our stories? Download the BRIEFLY NEWS app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!

Pakade, however, will not allow Mani to take the stand and be cross-examined on the fear that she might incriminate herself.

TimesLIVE reports that Mani attempted to have a case thrown on the basis that she did not actually steal the money and it was sent to her. Pakade told the court that there was no evidence that she committed a crime.

Mani's application was dismissed by the East London Regional Court.

South Africans think Mani should take the stand

Read also

Babita Deokaran: Alleged hitman retracts confession implicating Ex Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Social media users do not understand why Mani will not testify in her theft trial. Some people think she might have something to hide.

Here are some of their comments:

@UniqueSAProblem said:

"Isn't that the idea of a trial?"
"She is an adult, she must account."

@johannesvdploeg said:

"Ai ai the magical money."

@Porschephile_1 said:

"Sounds like an admission of guilt heh?"

@IndodaEqotho said:

"The culprits were the administrators of that account and their failure of internal controls. In related matters, the two white males who stole money from UJ still haven’t been prosecuted."

@gugwelihle said:

"I can't believe this case is still on."

Mzansi thinks Sibongile Mani never stole the R14 million From NSFAS, "They sent the money"

Briefly News previously reported that Sibongile Mani made a court appearance in the East London Regional Court to account for the theft of R14 million that was accidentally deposited into her bank account in 2017.

Read also

Woman uses little money she has to open own business, inspires SA: "Power to you girl"

In court proceedings, Mani stated that she was innocent and that she did not steal the money even though she splashed over R800 000 at 43 different stores in less than three months.

The error of depositing R14 million instead of her monthly allowance was described as a ridiculous technical glitch in court, according to News24.

Source: Briefly News

Online view pixel