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‘Bogus doctor’ Matthew Lani arrested, due in dock after escape bid drama at Helen Joseph Hospital

‘Bogus doctor’ Matthew Lani arrested, due in dock after escape bid drama at Helen Joseph Hospital
Matthew Lani. (Photos: Facebook: X, formerly Twitter: Supplied)

TikTok ‘doctor’ Matthew Lani is expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court within 48 hours following his arrest as he entered Helen Joseph Hospital on Sunday evening.

After weeks of scrutiny and continuing business as usual, alleged bogus doctor Matthew Bongani Lani has been arrested. He faces charges of identity fraud and impersonating a medical doctor, laid by the Gauteng health department and Dr Sanele Zingelwa, who he claimed to be. He is expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court within 48 hours of his arrest, either Monday or Tuesday.

Lani was arrested on Sunday evening as he entered the main entrance of Helen Joseph Hospital, the facility he had been using to curate his “Dr” content on his TikTok feed.

The news has been confirmed by the department, which said it welcomed the apprehension of Lani.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Unmasking TikTok’s bogus ‘Dr’ Matthew Bongani Lani

“Lani was caught by Helen Joseph security personnel before 8pm disguised in a hoodie, surgical mask and stethoscope around his neck. He had previously entered the same facility to curate misleading content under the pretence that he was a qualified doctor, department spokesperson Motalatale Modiba said.

According to Modiba, immediately after being apprehended Lani said he needed to use the bathroom and then jumped out of the bathroom window, but was caught by security staff who had realised he was making a run for it.

Modiba says Lani was handed over to the police for an official arrest.

Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi told Daily Maverick:

“The police can confirm that the social media personality who goes by the name Doctor Matthew Lani has been apprehended on Sunday evening by security personnel at the Helen Joseph hospital while trying to enter the institution. He was handed over to the police and is expected to appear before Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court on a charge of impersonating medical personnel.”

A two-minute TikTok video has since made the rounds on social media, in which Lani admits to having accessed the institution, including shooting content in the theatre locker room last week. His excuse was that he did not mean any harm. He goes on to say he changed surnames and that his old surname is Zingelwa.

Lani is one of many bogus medical practitioners identified in the past few weeks. DM

This is a developing story.


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