NSFAS says they are not to blame for Yonwabo Manyanya’s death

Johannesburg – The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has distanced themselves from the death of Yonwabo Manyanya.

The 26-year-old Yonwabo Manyanya, who was studying towards a diploma in electrical and infrastructure construction at eThekwini TVET College, is alleged to have died of hunger and fatigue after spending three days sleeping outside the campus.

NSFAS has since released a statement on the matter, which read: 

“There are allegations in the public domain that NSFAS has delayed paying allowances to cover the cost of accommodation on time and that Ms Manyanya subsequently suffered from fatigue and hunger while living on the streets as a consequence of this delay. These allegations are factually incorrect, based on information we have, and that the college has.  

For funding to continue, a student is required to meet the NSFAS progression requirements. While Ms Manyanya was an NSFAS-funded student in 2020, for the 2021 academic year her funding had not been confirmed. The information on NSFAS record is that Ms Manyanya had not met the progression criteria as at the time of her passing. She is part of a group of students whose progression status was continuously being queried with the college,  

NSFAS and eThekwini TVET College shared communication to the department of higher education & training explaining Ms Manyanya’s funding status.

The facts of the communication clear NSFAS of any connection to this tragic incident. It is unfortunate that this tragic incident is being used inaccurately and unfairly in an insensitive manner to the family and to defame NSFAS. This misleading, unfortunate and opportunistic approach is viewed in contempt by NSFAS and individuals spreading this inaccurate communication should be ashamed,” the NSFAS further stated.

When Mlungisi Manyanya could not reach his sister after calling her for six consecutive days, little did he know that her lifeless body had been discovered four days prior to that.

“We only got to know through Facebook that she had been found dead. Her pictures were being circulated by her friends who were studying with her at the college expressing their condolences. It was the most hurtful thing ever,” lamented Manyanya.

Manyanya said it had been an uphill batt le to get answers and circumstances that led to the tragic death of his sibling.

“The only information we have so far is through student leaders and friends. I lost my job last year and prior to that I was able to pay for her rent and groceries whenever there were problems with college funding. I had no idea that the situation was so dire, otherwise I would have encouraged her to come back home,” he added.

Read more: Evicted student dies after delay in NSFAS funds

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