'Fake doctor' bust for selling sick notes

A Joburg man was arrested by HPCSA officials and the police for selling fake sick notes. He was in possession of blank medical certificates, a stamp, and negative Covid-19 declaration forms.
A Joburg man was arrested by HPCSA officials and the police for selling fake sick notes. He was in possession of blank medical certificates, a stamp, and negative Covid-19 declaration forms.
Image: 123rf.com/gekaskr

A Johannesburg man pretending to be a doctor was nabbed by the police and the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) for selling fake sick notes to the public.

Eight people were also bust for submitting fraudulent medical certificates.

On Wednesday, the HPCSA said its inspectorate office - in collaboration with Ekurhuleni East crime intelligence, and the Ekurhuleni metropolitan police department’s community liaison unit - arrested a Zimbabwean man known as “Mr Kutoka” while in the act of issuing the dodgy sick notes. The arrest followed an investigation prompted by the use of fake medical certificates by Checkers employees.

This was after at least 19 Checkers employees from Northmead Square in Benoni submitted 41 fraudulent medical certificates under the name of “Dr MLA Modisane”. During the operation, it was identified that Christopher Kutoka was issuing the fraudulent medical certificates to the employees.

“Mr Kutoka was caught red-handed at a nearby cafe issuing the said medical certificates. He was arrested for fraud and contravening section 39(1)(a) of the Health Professions Act of 1974, for issuing medical certificates as a medical practitioner while not being registered with the council. Practising while not registered with the HPCSA constitutes a criminal offence,” noted the regulator in a statement.

 “Upon his arrest, Mr Kutoka, was found to be in possession of 38 blank medical certificates, a stamp, negative Covid-19 declaration forms and various other fraudulent medical documents under the name of Dr MLA Modisane,” the HSPCA said.

It was further established that Kutoka previously worked at the practice of Dr Modisane in Daveyton.

One person was arrested for fraud after having submitted eight of the fraudulent medical certificates.

“Further to those arrests, seven more people were arrested for fraud the following day, for having submitted 31 of the fraudulent medical certificates.”

The suspects were all taken into custody at the Benoni SAPS and are scheduled to appear in the Benoni magistrate's court soon. The HPCSA cautioned the public against obtaining fraudulent medical certificates and emphasised that medical certificates must be issued and signed by a medical practitioner or any other person who is certified to diagnose and treat patients.

The council said the latest arrests are part of its continuous mission “to clean the profession and eradicate any fraudulent activities that may put the profession in disrepute”.

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