South Africa Opens Criminal Case Against Bogus TikTok Doctor

Dr. Matthew Lani, a TikTok influencer from Gauteng, is facing legal trouble after the provincial health department and a real doctor filed criminal charges against him for impersonating a medical practitioner.

Dr. Lani, a TikTok user who offers medical advice, claimed to be a Wits Medical School graduate and the “youngest” owner of a pharmaceutical company in South Africa. He allegedly pretended to be an employee at Helen Joseph Hospital and roamed freely throughout the facility.

Lani had adopted the name of Dr. Sanele Sobani Vambani Zingelwa, a second-year medical intern at Tembisa Tertiary Hospital, according to the health authority. The charge was lodged at the Brixton police station, with the Health Professionals Act cited as a violation.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) voiced concern about a video by Matthew Zingelwa-Lani, underlining that no authority for statements on its behalf was issued. Matthew Zingelwa-Lani was not registered as a health practitioner, according to the HPCSA, and practicing without registration is a criminal violation.

The University of the Witwatersrand distanced itself from Lani, requesting that any references to the university be removed. Based on the information provided, they indicated that they couldn’t discover any recent grads with the names Matthew Bongani Zingelwa or Sanele Zingelwa.

Lani defended himself, stating that “Lani” was his social media handle, not his official surname, “Zingelwa.” He advised people not to look up “Lani” in the HPCSA database and stated that the HPCSA had verified his credentials.

Written by PH

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