The Walter Sisulu University (WSU) student who received a R14 million windfall instead of a R14 100 “food allowance” from NSFAS has spoken out.
For three months, from 1 June to 13 August she arguably became the richest full-time student in South Africa.
In a message to her friends today (Wednesday) – which followed the storm that came after reports of the “erroneous” payment made to her student account – she blamed NSFAS for the mistake. She claimed that she was the one who notified authorities.
“(They) allocated more money in a wrong account and that account happened to be mine. So I don’t deny anything…the money was loaded on the 1st june and reversed on the 13th August. But the question is how did it happen to be public news. The answer is still simply and right in front of us…(they) forget to mention one part that… I reported the matter to the authorities,” she said.
The student was credited with R14million “food allowance” three months ago and so far has spent R818 000 of the windfall. This means that she spent at least R10 900 per day over the period.
The student was meant to have receive a R14 100 allowance paid out in equal amounts over a 10 month period, for the year.
Instead she found herself an instant millionaire.
WSU spokeswoman Yonela Tukwayo admitted that the student had “erroneously” received R14 million in her account and that a forensic investigation was underway.
“The funds were allocated to the student’s IntelliCard, which is the debit card administered by IntelliMali,” she said. Tukwayo said WSU management will meet with IntelliMali CEO Michael Ansell, this afternoon (Wed) to discuss the matter further and “probe how such an error could have occurred and go undetected over (the) period”.
The student’s account, said Tukwayo, has since been blocked and the remaining balance recovered.
“The student has been advised by the University that they will remain liable for the money that she has spent,” she said.
*This is a developing story. More details will be in tomorrow’s edition of the Dispatch.