Police Minister Bheki Cele has said a date for an arrest cannot be given at this stage “as investigations are ongoing” into the matter of a doctor with alleged fake qualifications.
Cele was on Wednesday responding to a question by the NFP’s Ahmed Munzoor Shaik Emam during the National Assembly plenary.
Emam had asked Cele if he could indicate when an arrest would be made considering all the evidence that has been submitted to the police pertaining to Reshal Dayanand who allegedly faked his medical qualification, and secured employment with the department of health in KwaZulu-Natal, earning over half a million rand, and considering “assurances from the Hawks”.
In response, Cele said Dayanand’s matter was part of a “bigger investigation” after the director of public prosecutions (DPP) gave an instruction that this matter must be investigated “holistically” with the alleged fraud and corruption at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Cele said the DPP also recommended that an application should be submitted for an independent forensic firm “in order to ascertain the extent of the alleged fraud and corruption at” UKZN.
The minister said he cannot at this stage indicate when an arrest will be made “as investigations are ongoing and once finalised, the docket will be submitted to the DPP for a decision”.
In his follow up question, Emam, however, said the two matters were separate, pointing out that in his last discussion with Hawks head General Godfrey Lebeya, the latter had said that the two matters should be handled separately and treated differently, and that Dayanand’s matter was now with the national prosecuting authority (NPA).
The NFP MP asked Cele if he could give an indication why there had been no word on Dayanand’s matter, who put the lives of hundreds of people at risk and was paid over R700 000, he added.
Cele reiterated that the DPP had instructed that the investigation be done “holistically” and should include a forensic probe and that the DPP will then decide on the way forward.
“Yes, they sound like separate matters but the instruction from the DPP was that it must be put holistically and investigated that way,” Cele said.
Dayanand reportedly worked as a medical intern at Northdale Hospital, Pietermaritzburg, in 2016, earning a salary for a period of 14 months.
A private investigation paid for by the UKZN revealed that he allegedly had not completed his studies at the university. He was subsequently suspended by the provincial department of health.
In 2017, a number of arrests were made following an investigation into a syndicate responsible for selling admission spaces at the UKZN’s medical school.