Home South African Christian forum mulls legal action over Sibongile Mani’s jail sentence

Christian forum mulls legal action over Sibongile Mani’s jail sentence

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Forum says the five-year jail term for Walter Sisulu University student Sibongile Mani was a heartless sentence.

Sibongile Mani. Picture: Bheki Radebe

THE SA National Christian Forum (SANCF) says it is considering mounting legal action to oppose the jail term imposed on Walter Sisulu University student Sibongile Mani.

This is after she was sentenced to a five-year jail term at the East London Magistrate’s Court this week for theft of National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) money that was incorrectly deposited into her account.

Mani spent R818,000 of the R14 million that was mistakenly deposited into her student account. She was supposed to get R1,400.

The SANCF said the sentence was a clear demonstration of injustice against poor black students.

“SANCF is of the view that the court has failed to apply its legal mind in finding the recipient guilty of theft without the elements of theft being proven.

“The case did not meet the requirements of theft, embezzlement or theft under false pretences for that matter, this is a pure injustice demonstrating the continuation of apartheid against blacks,” said SANCF leader Bishop Marothi Mashashane.

The SANCF was considering how it can enter the legal battle in seeking justice “for the young black lady”, he said, adding that they would be watching the processes of her appeal.

He contended that the case did not even meet the elements of fraud, adding that they were shocked at what they regarded as a heartless decision.

“In actual fact this is a pure civil matter where the recipient should have entered into repayment arrangements with NSFAS,” Mashashane said.

He declared that SANCF will never turn a blind eye to the injustice and degradation of the poor communities in the country.

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