A bogus doctor who performed circumcisions and dispensed medication has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment after he was convicted on 4 523 counts of fraud in the Rustenburg Magistrate Court. News24 reports that this was not his first conviction for impersonating a doctor.
In January 2010, 47-year-old James Mogaswa Mathopa was convicted of fraud for running a similar scheme. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment with an option of paying a R20,000 fine by a court in the Free State town of Viljoenskroon.
Just a month later, he continued practicing as a medical practitioner after moving to Rustenburg in the North West. “During this period he physically examined patients, diagnosed them, referred them to specialists, conducted blood tests, circumcision and dispensed medicine with a consultation fee of R280,” North West Police Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said.
The Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (Hawks) arrested the Mathopa on 4 March, 2016 after a complaint alleged that Mathopa was practicing as a doctor without the required qualification, Rikhotso said. The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) initiated an investigation and confirmed that he was not registered as a medical practitioner.
He allegedly told the HPCSA that he was running an internet café when they contacted him, said Rikhotso.
The provincial head of the Hawks Major-General Linda Mbana welcomed the judgment. “These criminals who fraudulently masquerade as doctors are putting the medical profession into disrepute and further putting people’s lives at risk.”News24 report