The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) has come in full support of convicted Walter Sisulu University (WSU) student, Sibongile Mani.
The party believes Mani is being scapegoated after she was sentenced to five years imprisonment for the theft of R800 000. This after R14 million was paid into her account erroneously by Intellimali.
Her legal representatives filed an application for leave to appeal her sentence and conviction.
The matter has been postponed to April 29. This is to allow the state time to study the documents filed by her defence in the East London Regional Court on Monday.
PAC deputy president Lunga Mantashe has vowed to do everything possible to ensure she walks free.
“Sibongile Mani is not a thief, they are the scandalous ones. The institutions of higher learning have to take responsibility for what these service providers do. In the first place, they shouldn’t be outsourcing these things to service providers.
“Why can’t institutions run these things by themselves. Why do they have to give thugs because there is this web of corruption … a glitch of R14 million are they crazy? A glitch of six zeros and then we are told that there is justice,” adds Mantashe.
Sibongile Mani to appeal five-year prison sentence:
Leniency on Mani
Meanwhile, Mani’s attorney Asanda Phakade believes a suspended sentence would have been more suitable.
“We have always had a long view that the conviction was incorrect, also the sentence equally is shocking…that’s why we did not even hesitate to grant us that opportunity to appeal this conviction and sentence.”
Phakade has since argued that Mani was remorseful and is a mother of two and that imprisonment will be detrimental to her family.
In the video below, Mali pleads for a lesser sentence: