Woman Was Accidentally Paid $1,000,000 Instead Of $100 Into Her Bank Account And Went On Epic 73 Day Spree

By maks in Crime On 13th May 2024

It's not every day that your school accidentally makes you nearly a millionaire overnight.

For one woman, this mistake turned into the chance of a lifetime.

Would you return the money, or would you take the opportunity to splurge?

This is exactly what happened to Sibongile Mani, a student at Walter Sisulu University (WSU) in South Africa.

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One day, she checked her bank balance and was shocked to discover that she had been credited with 14 million rands, which was worth about $1,000,000 in 2017.

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Usually, she was supposed to get about $100 each month from a government aid program designed to help her afford food and basic needs.

However, this time the deposited amount was astoundingly incorrect.

Despite clearly recognizing the mistake, Mani decided to seize the moment and embarked on a massive shopping spree.

Right after the deposit, Mani started spending extravagantly on designer clothing, the newest iPhone, and pricey bottles of alcohol.

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She had already spent over $58,000 when her lavish spending was uncovered through a bank receipt she accidentally left at a supermarket.

Samkelo Mqhayi, branch secretary of the South African Students Congress, told Herald Live back then: "She was just suddenly spending so much.

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"Her supermarket receipt which was leaked showed she had 13.6m rand in her account and she had been throwing parties for her friends and showering them with gifts without worry."

Soon after, Mani was reported to the authorities.

She was arrested in 2017 and faced charges of theft and fraud.

The legal proceedings dragged on until 2022, when she was eventually sentenced to five years in jail.

However, the sentence was overturned on appeal in 2023 after Mani argued that she viewed the money as a ‘gift from God.’

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Consequently, her sentence was suspended.

The conditions for suspending Mani's five-year sentence were clear and specific. 

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First, she was required to commit no acts of theft or fraud during this period. Additionally, she needed to complete 14 weeks of community service and undergo counseling.

Her attorney, Asanda Pakade, shared: "She is very relieved and very happy that she does not have to go to prison and is looking to putting all this behind her and starting again.

"She is putting her life which was left in tatters back together again and is looking forward to starting afresh and is very grateful that the court took the decisions that it took."