- Sibongile Mani is still a free woman despite being sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday, 30 March
- The former Walter Sisulu Univeristy student's R1 500 bail has been extended until 11 April, the date set for her appeal
- South Africans still have opposing views about Mani's conviction and sentence, with some people believing she did not steal any funds
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EAST LONDON - Sibongile Mani, the former Walter Sisulu University student who was convicted of the theft of over R800 000 of R14 million that was accidentally deposited into her bank account, has not yet started serving her five-year sentence.
Mani's legal team managed to get her bail of R1 500 extended after she was handed down a sentence on Wednesday, 30 March. Her team is expected to appeal the conviction and the sentence she received.
High emotions in court as Sibongile Mani gets sentenced to 5 years in prison for theft of R800k NSFAS funds
Luxolo Tyali, the National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, says Mani will stay out on bail until 11 April to allow for the process of her appeal to take place, according to TimesLIVE. Tyali states that the NPA intends to oppose Mani's appeal.
Tyali says there is evidence that Mani intended to steal the money she erroneously received because she went on a shopping spree lasting longer than 70 days. He added that in those 70-plus days, Mani visited two different towns.
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"She also spent the money in different towns, which was proof that she had planned the theft," said Tyali.
Tyali explained that the magistrate's court heavily relied on the State's evidence and version of events and found them to be true.
South Africans weigh in on Sibongile Mani's conviction and sentencing
"Reminder Mkhize, Koko, Myeni, Zuma, Magashule, Sodi, Singh, Gigaba and countless others are all free after robbing us in broad daylight."
"The way she used that money in 3 months shows her intentions were evil, so it's payback time. That degree of hers won't give her a job with her criminal record. It is best she study something else while she is inside."
"Not a coincidence that she got the millions sent to her. Her surname is Mani (pronounced "money") & her name is Sibongile (meaning "thank you" ). Basically, her full name is "Thank You for the Money". "
"Her sentence was very harsh, so where's the person who negligently deposited so many digits of Rands into her account? That's the main one/culprit who is supposed to account than anybody. Poor girl's family left devastated, she got a criminal record, the incident wasn't planned by her."
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"Did she contact NSFAS or the Service Provider upon realizing that she had 14 Million instead of 1400? This is what I don't get. But I'm human as well the temptation would be there! As for the people who paid her the money it's a different matter."
Pre-sentencing reports say Sibongile Mani is not suitable for jail, she is not a danger
Briefly News previously reported that an assessment has determined that National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) thief, Sibongile Mani, is not suitable for prison since she is not a danger to others.
The news emerged after an evaluation was conducted by Department of Correctional Services probation officer, Unathi Mahlanyana and social worker, Phathiswa Vuza in pre-sentence reports.
News24 reports that the verdict was due to prisons being overcrowded and that Mani should rather be sentenced to supervised community service.
Source: Briefly News