Gauteng Health opens a criminal case against a bogus doctor

Gauteng Health opens a criminal case against a bogus doctor 

The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) today opened a case of impersonating a medical doctor at the Brixton Police Station in Brixton following reports of a so called ‘Dr Matthew Lani’ who had assumed various pseudo medical roles falsely presenting himself as an employee of the department.

Lani managed to weave his way into the system pretending to be in the employ of Helen Joseph Hospital where he moved around the hospital corridors curating content for social media.

Further investigations have revealed that Dr Sanele Zingelwa, the name which the Lani claims is his real name belongs to 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. 

On 16 June 2022, the GDoH ran a campaign across its facilities as part of Youth Month commemorations where many young medical professionals were asked to send in their video clips on what it means for them to be born-frees (born after 1994). Lani was one of the participants, and this was the only time the Department ever worked with him. At the time there was nothing that raised suspicion that he was not a person in the employ of the facility.

In October 2022 Lani recorded a video complaining of non-payment as a medical intern at Helen Joseph Hospital. The complaint caught the attention of the Department and was referred to the management of the hospital to look into the matter. Subsequently, Lani was contacted by the CEO and asked to present himself at the facility’s human resource unit to address his complaint. 

He then confirmed that his matter was receiving attention and even deleted the video he had posted on TikTok at the time as he felt it was drawing unnecessary attention.

The GDoH has also learnt that under the name that he claims is his real name of ‘Dr Sanele Zingelwa’, Lani fabricated a story about a large number of people having been admitted at Helen Joseph Hospital after taking a particular weight-loss pill. This led The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) to investigate the matter in August 2023, and found out that there was no such. 

The incident has elevated the urgent need to strengthen access control across all our facilities and to improve employee identification processes.

The opening of a criminal case against Lani is in line with Health Professions Act, Act No. 56 of 1974 as amended which states that practicing whilst not registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa is a criminal offence and that any person who uses any name, title, description or symbol indicating, or calculated to lead persons to infer that he or she is the holder of any qualification of which they are not shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction, is liable to a fine, imprisonment or both.

For more information please contact: 
Motalatale Modiba, Head of Communication
Cell: 064 803 0808 

Tshepo Shawa, Spokesperson for the MEC for Health
Cell: 072 222 6333 

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