Jolene Marriah-Maharaj and Anita Nkonki
The bogus ‘Dr Matthew Lani’ has been apprehended after entering the main entrance at Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg on Sunday night.
The 27-year-old was arrested by security personnel at the hospital.
The Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations (known as the Hawks) have confirmed that Lani was expected to make his first appearance in court on Tuesday for impersonating a doctor.
According to provincial Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale, it is alleged the suspect was seen on Friday (October 27) at the hospital, reportedly making videos.
“The hospital staff was informed to be on the lookout for him.
“On Sunday, the suspect was seen in the hospital premises and apprehended by the security guards then handed over to the Brixton police.”
Mogale said another case of impersonating a doctor was opened at Tembisa SAPS.
“It is alleged the same suspect utilised the credentials of a practising doctor to fool other hospital staff.”
In a statement, the Gauteng Department of Health said Lani was caught just before 8pm disguised in a hoodie and wearing a surgical mask with a stethoscope around his neck.
According to the department, he then asked to use the bathroom and tried to flee through a bathroom window but was caught.
Lani was exposed earlier this month, but he is adamant that he is a doctor.
This comes after the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) also distanced itself from Lani, stressing that his name does not appear in the register of health practitioners.
The council revealed that no authorisation was granted to make statements on behalf of the council stating that he is a registered practitioner.
Lani further claimed that he studied and graduated at the University of the Witwatersrand, which the institution later proved to be falsehoods.
The statement read: “Wits University is obliged to set the public record straight following claims made by ‘Dr. Matthew Lani’ on various social media platforms. Based on the names presented to the institution and the facts on hand, the university cannot find any person who graduated by the name of Matthew Bongani Zingelwa or Sanele Zingelwa in recent years. We are requesting ‘Dr. Matthew Lani’ to retract any such claim with immediate effect.”
Further investigations have revealed that Dr Sanele Zingelwa is a second-year medical intern at Tembisa Provincial Tertiary Hospital.
The real Dr Sanele Sobani Vambani Zingelwa has since opened a case of identity fraud at the Tembisa police station.
It is revealed that over the past three years, 124 fake medical doctors have been arrested around the country as a result of a campaign led by the HPSCA and the police, with 55 of the apprehensions taking place during the past 24 months.