A TikTok star who masqueraded as a medical professional was arrested after trying to go to 'work' in a hospital in South Africa.
Matthew Lani, who goes by the alias Dr. Lani Matthews, made his name giving unsolicited medical advice and selling medicine on TikTok. The 27-year-old was arrested on Sunday night after trying to bypass security at Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg by disguising himself with a surgical mask and stethoscope.
The X account of the hospital shared a statement after the capture of the "bogus doctor", saying that he had entered previously to create content that made him look like a medical professional.
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The statement claimed that immediately after he was captured, Lani demanded to go to the toilet where he proceeded to try and jump out of the window to escape. He was apprehended a second time.
When he was caught he was wearing a Spongebob T-shirt. He was handed over to police for an official arrest, but it’s unclear at this stage what charges he faces.
The BBC reported that his arrest follows a weeks-long manhunt after questions arose over his qualifications.
The TikTok star claims he received a medical degree from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, something the institution denies.
The Department of Education has stated that Mr Lani did not even obtain his school-leaving certificate.
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He had reportedly claimed to be a second-year medical intern at the Tembisa Provincial Tertiary Hospital called Dr Sanele Zingelwa. The actual Dr Sanele Zingelwa has opened a fraud case against him.
The Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations said that Lani is due in court today (Tuesday, October 31).
Police said that another case of impersonating a doctor was opened at a different police station.
“It is alleged the same suspect utilised the credentials of a practising doctor to fool other hospital staff," cops said.
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