A college student in South Africa went on a lavish spending spree after she accidentally received $1 million in financial aide, the NY Daily News reports.
The error occurred in June when Sibongile Mani, a 27-year-old student at Walter Sisulu University, discovered her usual $100 monthly stipend on her financial aide debit card had swelled to $1 million.
Rather than notify Intellimi, the company that issued the debit card, Mani took the money and went on a shopping spree. Classmates became suspicious when the normally frugal student started showing up wearing expensive designer clothes and shoes.
She threw extravagant birthday parties for her friends, lavishing them with iPhone 7s.
Mani, a branch secretary for the student wing of the Pan Africanist Congress, spent over $60,000 before the error was discovered and the debit card was blocked.
officials at Intellimi admitted the error and said no other student was unjustly enriched or deprived of financial aide.
“All students who were due to receive NSFAS payments got them,” WSU spokeswoman Yonela Tukwayo told CNN.
Mani was ordered to return the merchandise and to pay back the money she spent. Intellimi may take legal action against her.
Mani expressed her shame and guilt in a since-deleted Facebook post.
“Today my personal life has become a social media scandal. I have been named and shamed in public. Today, I am a bad person, a person who stole the money of students,” she wrote, according to Herald Live. “With that being said, and being named a thief, but as we all know in every story there is truth and there are lies with the very same story.”