Johannesburg – The Health and Allied Workers Indaba Trade Union (HAITU) partly blames the Gauteng Department of Health for popularising the bogus TikTok medical practitioner. HAITU said it has noted the statement from the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH), distancing itself from the bogus TikTok doctor, Matthew Bongani Lani”.
The University of the Witwatersrand has rejected, as false, his claims that he has a medical degree from the institution.The Health Professions Council of South Africa has also distanced itself from him, saying he is not registered.
“What is worrying, is that this fake doctor has been dispensing medical advice and even medication,” said HAITU.“The GDoH is doing everything possible to distance itself from the fake ‘Dr.’ Lani, when the truth is that they are partly to blame for making him famous in the first place.” HAITU General Secretary Lerato Mthunzi said it was not enough for the department to grandstand over this issue of the bogus “Dr. Lani”.
Mthunzi added: “What is needed is for them to urgently do an audit of all healthcare employees, and to clean out, or dismiss those who have been employed, without proper qualifications”.
HAITU warned such incidents would likely keep on happening. “There is likely to be another scenario where the department is exposed, because of their failure to ensure that people with proper qualifications, training, and experience are employed in the department,” said Mthunzi.
“Their failure to commit to this is a threat to the health and well-being of patients and the community as a whole.”
Mthunzi said the fake TikTok doctor’s actions were a potential threat to the health and safety of the public.
“The Gauteng Department of Education has also just issued a statement claiming that there is no record of the bogus doctor having matriculated,” Mthunzi said.
“A case of identity fraud has been opened up against the tik-toker by the real Dr. Sanele Sobani Zingelwa, who is a 2nd-year medical intern at the Tembisa Tertiary Hospital.”
Mthunzi added: “HAITU is not surprised this is happening because the department has a long history of endorsing and employing people who are not suitably qualified, and they often do not even bother to do the necessary checks to confirm qualifications.
“They jumped on the bandwagon and promoted a fake doctor because they wanted to appear relevant.”
The disgraced bogus doctor, made a name for himself on TikTok, where he falsely presented himself as a medical doctor employed by the Department of Health until he was ousted, and was subsequently banned Tuesday on the popular video app.