Underfire second–year Walter Sisulu University student Sibongile Mani, implicated in the R14–million saga, was forced to flee a press conference shielded by her comrades from an angry crowd before the police arrived and whisked her away.
TIGHTLIPPED: Walter Sisulu university’s R14-million student, Sibongile Mani, made her first media appearance outside the Eskom House campus yesterday accompanied by Pasma members Picture: BHONGO JACOB
The dramatic events unfolded after her first press briefing descended into chaos after angry students demanded she paid back the R14–million mistakenly transferred into her student account. The angry students are accusing Mani of being selfish after getting a lion’s share of R14–million by mistake from an estimated R25–million earmarked for more than 18 000 students.
Allegedly as a result thousands of students at WSU went to bed hungry due to shortage of funding. The attempted harm on Mani happened moments after Pasma leader Vusi Mahlangu had warned that Mani’s life was in danger. In viral video footages that later surfaced on social media Mani could be seen being shielded by Pasma leaders from a taunting crowd of more than a hundred shouting and screaming “pay the money”.
During a tense press briefing outside the WSU’s Eskom House campus, student body leaders defended their member‘s actions saying “she did not put the money in her account”. However hecklers disagreed shouting from the back: “But she did it!”
Pasma spokesman Mahlangu blamed WSU for compromising Mani’s safety. But WSU spokeswoman Yonela Tukwayo denied putting Mani’s life at risk. East London police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Hazel Mqala was not available for comment.