Charges against ‘TikTok doctor’ Matthew Lani dropped
Bogus doctor Matthew Lani walks out as a free man
Matthew Lani has been exposed as a fake. Picture: LinkedIn
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has confirmed that charges against Matthew Lani, accused of impersonating a doctor, have been dropped.
Lani walks out as a free man.
The “TikTok doctor” made his first appearance in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Watch: Matthew Lani’s attorney on charges being dropped
— Rosetta Msimango (@MsimangoRosetta) October 31, 2023
Lani landed in hot water with the police after the Gauteng Department of Health opened a criminal case against him for impersonating Dr Sanele Zingelwa, which he claimed was his “legal name” registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).
NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane confirmed the matter was not placed on the roll and Lani has been released from custody.
Lani’s attorney Dumisani Mabunda said the state has no prima facie case against him.
“We have wise prosecutors who went through the docket and they concurred with us that there is no case against him and as result the charges against him have been withdrawn.
“However, there will be possible investigations and if there are any developments on the matter, the matter can be reinstated at a later stage,” Mabunda said.
Mabunda added the Lani was facing one charge of impersonating a doctor.
“As we’ve already indicated, his conduct in actual fact was just for entertainment. There’s no complainant here who says that he actually consulted with him as a doctor.”
The Gauteng Health Department confirmed on Sunday that Lani was nabbed by security personnel at the Helen Joseph Hospital after he attempted to enter the facility.
“Lani was caught just before 8pm disguised in a hoodie and wearing a surgical mask with a stethoscope around his neck,” the department said.
Earlier this month, the real doctor whose identity was allegedly stolen by Lani said she had no association with the imposter and that he had put a “huge strain on her and her family”.
“I must put it on record that I do not know the so called “Dr Matthew Lani”. His actions have put a huge amount of strain not only on myself, but also on my family. It is unfortunate that he would abuse social media for his own selfish end. I have opened a case with the South African Police Service of identity fraud.”
Lani’s account had amassed 294 000 followers on the popular video app, but it has since been banned.