South Africa: National Student Financial Aid Scheme on Ms Mani Conviction

NSFAS refutes misleading reports of its involvement in conviction and sentencing of Ms S Mani

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) notes with great concern and disappointment the inaccurate, irresponsible and misleading reporting regarding the involvement of the NSFAS in the convicting and sentencing of Ms Sibongile Mani.

The Plan would like to categorically state the following:

1. Notwithstanding the reputational damage this incident has caused to the NSFAS, largely due to inaccurate reporting of this matter in the media and in Parliament – the NSFAS has suffered no financial loss as a result of this incident.

2. The NSFAS had, when the incident was discovered, commissioned an internal audit review of its systems and controls, and confirmed that in fact no financial loss had been incurred. The result of this examination is recorded.

3. Investigations have also been conducted by Walter Sisulu University and DHET. The facts revealed that the only entity that suffered financial loss due to weak internal controls and systems that led to this incident was Intellimali, a service provider appointed by Walter Sisulu University.

4. We would like to confirm that the NSFAS did not pursue any criminal charges against the student as there was no reason to do so.

5. Finally, the NSFAS was approached to provide the Department of Corrections with a Victim Impact Assessment Report, which was duly submitted on March 14, 2022. In this report, the NSFAS reaffirmed its position on the question, as stated above.