Is Dr Matthew Arrested? A Social Media Influencer Who Pretended to Be a Doctor

Dr. Matthew, a prominent TikTok personality who had claimed to be a licensed medical doctor, now finds himself in legal trouble for impersonating a doctor and engaging in identity fraud. Charges have been filed against him by the Gauteng health department, as well as the real Dr. Sanele Zingelwa, whose name and credentials Dr. Matthew allegedly exploited to deceive his substantial following of nearly 300,000 followers.

Who is Dr. Matthew?

Dr. Matthew, whose true identity is Matthew Bongani Lani, is a 24-year-old social media influencer who gained fame by sharing videos on TikTok, depicting his life as a physician at Johannesburg’s Helen Joseph Hospital.

Additionally, he shared his personal story of surviving abuse and a deliberate HIV infection. Dr. Matthew also appeared on various radio shows and podcasts, where he discussed his medical career and advocated for HIV awareness and prevention.

Exposure of the Deception

Dr. Matthew’s deceptive facade unraveled on Monday, October 11, 2023, when both the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and the Gauteng health department confirmed that he was not a registered medical practitioner at Helen Joseph Hospital, as he had claimed.

Furthermore, Wits University, the institution from which Dr. Matthew asserted to have graduated, refuted this claim and affirmed that he did not graduate from their establishment. The Gauteng Department of Education went a step further by revealing that Dr. Matthew didn’t possess even a matric certificate.

The real Dr. Sanele Zingelwa, the individual whose name and credentials Dr. Matthew allegedly appropriated for impersonation, released a statement expressing his shock and distress over Dr. Matthew’s actions. Dr. Zingelwa clarified that he pursued his medical studies in Cuba from 2014 to 2020 under the Nelson Mandela-Fidel Castro scholarship, concluding his integration program at Wits University from September 2020 to December 2021.

His internship commenced at Tembisa Hospital in January 2022. Dr. Zingelwa asserted that he had no personal acquaintance with Dr. Matthew and that these actions have placed a significant strain on him and his family.

Consequences and Legal Proceedings

Dr. Matthew has been apprehended by law enforcement for his impersonation of a medical practitioner and his involvement in identity fraud. He faces two distinct cases of impersonation of a doctor, one filed by the Gauteng health department at Brixton police station and another by Dr. Zingelwa at Tembisa police station.

Moreover, he confronts 51 counts of sexual assault and drugging, as he stands accused of utilizing dating applications to lure women into sexual encounters while they were unconscious.

The police spokesperson, Lt-Col Mavela Masondo, has conveyed that an ongoing investigation is underway, and no arrests have been made at this time. Gauteng health MEC Mrs. Nomantu Nkom0-Ralehoko has expressed her intention for Dr. Matthew to face legal consequences and serve time in prison for his alleged crimes.

In Conclusion

Dr. Matthew, an individual who used social media to propagate falsehoods regarding his medical qualifications and experiences, has been arrested and faces grave legal consequences. He has caused harm and distress to numerous individuals, especially the genuine Dr. Zingelwa, whose name and professional background he exploited. Dr. Matthew is now confronted with severe criminal charges, including potential incarceration, for his actions.

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