A Walter Sisulu University student who accidentally received a R14-million payment on her student debit card will be liable after allegedly spending more than R400‚000.
University spokesperson Yonela Tukwayo told the press on Wednesday that a female student in the Eastern Cape had received the payment about five months ago.
“People started complaining after she started living a very lavish lifestyle‚” Tukwayo said.
Tukwayo said there were specific merchants where students were able to use the money to buy books and food‚ so the university would investigate how the student was able to buy some of the goods she bought.
“Some students picked this up from the very lavish lifestyle she started living. We will also be looking into how this money was spent to buy some of the expensive goods‚” Tukwayo said.
“There have been previous cases where merchants had colluded with students‚ but this will be part of the investigation.”
“We don’t know how this happened … but she will be held liable to pay back the money she had spent‚” she said.
Students on financial aid receive money for books and food.
“It was very callous and she did not report the matter immediately. She will definitely be held responsible‚” she said.
Tukwayo said the university was meeting with the CEO of the company who administered the student debit cards – called Intellicard – and that the university’s forensic team would also look into the matter.
Tukwayo added: “It was not a National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) mistake. It was an Intellicard mistake and we are not sure how that happened.”
An Intellicard is a financial card used by students who are financed by NSFAS. Money is allocated to the cards‚ which are issued after an agreement is signed by the student.
NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo said the financial aid scheme didn’t pay the money directly to the student and said the university had to account.
This is a developing story.