A student has gone into hiding after getting caught going on a shopping spree because she was mistakenly given over $1 million on her bank account instead of $108 from her scholarship.
Every month, 27-year-old Accounting student Sibongile Mani and 18,000 other scholars at Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, in South Africa receive $108 in their bank account as stipend from their scholarship. The money was supposed to be used for food, books, and other school needs.
A few months ago, however, Mani discovered she had $1,080,000 in her bank account after someone from the financial aid office made an error in the entry, accidentally adding four zeros into the $108 check.
Instead of reporting the error, Mani enjoyed the windfall as if it was something she owned. She went on a shopping spree that puzzled her friends and schoolmates.
Everyone had always known she was poor just like them all but she would soon wear branded outfits, buy an iPhone 7, and went on extra-curricular activities that many of them couldn’t afford to do.
Many thought she won the lottery but she remained secretive until someone leaked a receipt from the convenience store showing her bank account balance.
She was reported to the National Students’ Financial Aids Scheme (NSFAS) and now faces charges. The company in charge of giving out checks said she is liable for the money she spent, totalling $65,000.
Mani has gone into hiding since the investigation started, lamenting about her plight on social media and arguing that she shouldn’t be made to pay because she does not even have a job to begin with. Instead of pitying her, however, most netizens believe she should have thought of that when she began spending money that wasn’t hers!