A student formation is not happy about the jail sentencing of postgraduate student, Sibongile Mani. The group wants to take the matter further but to a different court.
As IntelliMali disbursed money for Walter Sisulu University (WSU), R14.1 million was credited into one of the university’s student accounts in 2017.
After investigations, the student was identified as Sibongile Mani and charges were laid against her.
Mani was charged with theft at the East London Regional Court, and the judge handed down 5 years’ direct imprisonment.
Mani’s legal representative had pleaded for a suspended sentence, instead of jail time for the student.
Student union, South African Union of Students (SAUS) responded with a statement:
We believe that the government through the court is scapegoating and hiding the failures of our prosecuting and judicial services.
However, SAUS has clearly stated that it does not condone ‘the undue use of the funds’ by the student but found the sentencing to be an injustice to Mani.
According to Magistrate Twanett Olivier, the courts have considered reports and other forms of evidence before concluding the case.
The student structure is in the process of establishing legal processes in order to assist Mani in appealing the case to a higher court.