A financial aid beneficiary at Walter Sisulu University (WSU) accidentally received an allowance of R14.1 million rand from IntelliMali, the company which facilitates student payments from the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) or bursary donors.
University spokesperson Yonela Tukwayo confirmed that the student had received a much higher allocation than she was meant to. Her allowance has since been deactivated.
Tukwayo told TimesLive that the university received complaints from students after she “started living a very lavish lifestyle”.
IntelliCards can only be used at specific shops where students can buy books and food. The university will be investigating how the student managed to spend so much money. Tukwayo said the university would ensure that the student is held fully liable for the amount she had spent.
In a press statement, IntelliMali said the student was meant to receive a monthly allowance of R1 400 but received an erroneous allocation of R14.1 million. IntelliMali said the university discovered the error earlier this month but the student had already “misappropriated” a total of R818 000 from the allocation.
The company said this was the first time an error like this has ever happened and has taken “full administrative and financial responsibility” for the incident. It promised no student student financial aid support would be affected by the error. IntelliMali declined to comment further.
NSFAS issued a series of tweets distancing itself from the payment error.
#NSFAS did’nt pay R14 million to one student, it is practically impossible. WSU is responsible for paying students directly. It must account
— NSFAS (@myNSFAS) August 30, 2017
Twitter was abuzz when an image of a Spar till slip, purportedly showing the student’s available balance, circulated.
— SocialTrends🇿🇦 (@SocialTrendsZA) August 30, 2017
Some tweeps were concerned about why the error was not noticed earlier.
— Malusi Booi (@MalusiBooi) August 30, 2017
Others tweeted about what they would have done if they were in her shoes.
I would transfer it to an investmentaccount, and wait until they catch me, would make about a mil on the return and get a good lawyer #NSFAS
— faith (@_faithinlove_) August 30, 2017
If I had R14 mil accidentally deposited into my account I wouldn’t say or post anything. She played herself #NSFAS
— Third Force (@NalediMashishi) August 30, 2017
— lisa (@LisaSdk) August 29, 2017