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South Africa opens criminal case against bogus TikTok doctor

South Africa opens criminal case against bogus TikTok doctor
In this photo taken Sunday, April 5, 2020, laboratory technicians, seen behind a ...   -  
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Themba Hadebe/Copyright 2017 The AP. All rights reserved.

South Africa

A TikTok influencer from Gauteng, known as Dr. Matthew Lani to his followers, is facing legal issues after the provincial health department and a real doctor filed criminal cases against him for impersonating a medical professional.

Dr. Lani, who shares medical advice on TikTok, claimed to be a graduate of Wits Medical School and the "youngest" owner of a pharmaceutical company in South Africa. He allegedly posed as an employee of Helen Joseph Hospital and moved freely within the hospital.

The health department revealed that Lani had assumed the identity of a second-year medical intern, Dr. Sanele Sobani Vambani Zingelwa, from Tembisa Tertiary Hospital. The case was filed at the Brixton police station, citing a violation of the Health Professionals Act.

Dr. Zingelwa, the real medical intern, also filed an identity fraud case against Lani.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) expressed concern over a video by Matthew Zingelwa-Lani, emphasizing that no authorization was given for statements on its behalf. The HPCSA confirmed that Matthew Zingelwa-Lani was not registered as a health practitioner, and practicing without registration is a criminal offense.

The University of the Witwatersrand distanced itself from Lani, calling on him to retract any references to the university. They stated that they couldn't find any recent graduates with the names Matthew Bongani Zingelwa or Sanele Zingelwa, based on the information provided.

Lani defended himself, clarifying that "Lani" was his social media handle and not his legal surname, which is "Zingelwa." He urged people not to search for "Lani" in the HPCSA database and claimed that the HPCSA had confirmed his credentials.

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