Walter Sisulu University convocation must account for electing convicted fraudster Sibongile Mani as treasurer

Issued by Chantel King MP – DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education
15 Mar 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Chantel King MP.

The DA is appalled that the Walter Sisulu University (WSU) convocation is electing Sibongile Mani as treasurer.

This is a slap in the face of students who missed out on NSFAS funding because of her fraudulent behavior.

The Walter Sisulu convocation must explain on what grounds Sibongile Mani was elected.

The convocation just recently appointed a new chairperson and raised R35 million for student debt clearance. The irony is that funds were raised to clear debt but a person was elected who defrauded the institution of R800 000 of student funding.

Ethical codes of professional accountants/treasurers are: integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality and professional behavior. This directly speaks to ethical codes of good governance.

As an elected structure of WSU which assist the institution with fundraising efforts, how would the convocation comprehend affording Sibongile Mani an opportunity to put her name forward for the treasurer position? Sibongile Mani surely is not displaying any ethical conduct for this position especially with a tainted background due to her conviction as a fraudster.

The WSU convocation must account on:

  • Requirements for the treasurer post;
  • Can those having a criminal record for fraud and corruption apply? and
  • Which vetting criteria they will use to screen the successful candidate?

We have seen what cadre deployment did to our state institutions and at this rate WSU with its accreditation scandals tainting the institution, this will be another cloud on their name.

Fit for purpose and professional ethical standards should be the aim to move the convocation and the institution forward.  We are clear that we will avoid another public higher education institution from being captured through fraudulent processes.