Dr Matthew Lani

‘Dr Matthew Lani’ claims Department of Health denied him HIV treatment. Image by MDN NEWS/X

Bogus doctor Matthew Lani demands R9 million from health department

Fake doctor, Matthew Lani, is back in the spotlight following his arrest at the Helen Joseph Hospital in October last year.

Dr Matthew Lani

‘Dr Matthew Lani’ claims Department of Health denied him HIV treatment. Image by MDN NEWS/X

Bongani Matthew Lani, who was oust last year for masquerading on social media as a 24-year-old medical doctor, is suing Gauteng Department of Health.

According to ZiMoja, the popular TikTok user is demanding R9 million from the Gauteng Department of Health after he was arrested by security personnel at the Helen Joseph Hospital.


In a letter of demand, Lani’s lawyer, Phathutshedzo Owen Sithi of SNT Attorneys, said the fake doctor “was maliciously and unlawfully arrested and detained by security personnel of Potlako Security & Cleaning Services stationed at Helen Joseph Hospital” in October 2023.

“It is our instructions that our client was wrongfully and maliciously arrested and detained without an arrest warrant at Helen Joseph Hospital,” read the letter, which was also shared by murder-accused blogger, Musa Khawula.

Speaking to ZiMoja, Sithi said: “What you have seen is a draft of our letter of demand and we are waiting for our client to approve it so we can serve the department as per his instructions.”


When Lani was arrested last year, the Gauteng Department of Health released a statement.

“He was apprehended while entering the main entrance of the facility… disguised in a hoodie and wearing a surgical mask with a stethoscope around his neck,” read the statement.

“Immediately after being apprehended Lani requested to go to the bathroom only to attempt to escape by jumping through the bathroom window. When the security realised that he was making a run for it, they called for reinforcement, and he was subsequently apprehended again.”


Lani is accused of stealing the identity of Dr Sanele Zingelwa’s identity, who is a second-year medical intern at the Tembisa Provincial Tertiary Hospital. Dr Zingelwa has opened a case against him.

In October, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and the Gauteng Health Department confirmed that Lani was not a registered doctor working at Helen Joseph Hospital, as he had been claiming on social media. Wits University, where he claimed to have graduated, also denied he had graduated from the institution.

In addition, it was revealed by the Gauteng Department of Education that Lani doesn’t have a matric certificate. The department also said the bogus doctor was previously enrolled at a school for pupils with special needs.

“Our official records indicate that Matthew Bongani Lani was initially enrolled at Bordeaux Primary School [Randburg] in 2007. However, he was referred to Gresswold Learners with Special Needs School in Johannesburg in January 2010,” said education department spokesperson Steve Mabona.

In 2016, the influencer (who had 300 000 followers on his TikTok account before it was suspended) reappeared on the department’s system at Fourways Adult Centre, where he only passed one subject out of the three he wrote.

“Based on these records and further verified information at our disposal from Umalusi (the education quality assurance body), we can confirm that Matthew Bongani Lani indeed does not possess a matric certificate,” said Mabona.