Cops still trying to verify Chele’s age
Sicknotes, scrubs found at bogus doctor’s home
Kingsley Leeto Chele – the alleged bogus doctor accused of defrauding health workers – kept scrubs, signed sick notes and coats bearing logos of Gauteng department of health at his apartment inside an estate west of Johannesburg.
Chele was rearrested yesterday after giving police a slip last week while searching his apartment at The Falls Lifestyle Estate near Ruimsig, Roodepoort. He was found hiding at his alleged girlfriend's house in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni.
According to neighbours, Chele, who police believe also used another alias “Dr KJ Ncube” to dupe his victims, lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment for more than a year.
A neighbour who asked not to be named said Chele had claimed to have lived as street kid in the Joburg CBD and that he met a woman who organised him a bursary to study medicine in the UK.
“He said his fiancée from Germany died in a plane crash with their kid. He then came back to SA to pursue his career and worked at an unspecified hospital in Johannesburg,” said one neighbour.
“I believed him because I’d see him wearing his scrubs and sometimes suits but that carried on for about a month and then he started spending more time at home and when I asked him he said he was busy with medical exams and would be away from work for some time.
"In July, he told me that he has started a business in pharmacy and has also registered a political party that will take part in the elections. He even showed me a brochure.”
Police said they were still trying to verify Chele’s country of birth and his age and there was a doubt about the ID number he gave to the police, which indicates that he was born in 2006.
Another neighbour said: “He is a young skinny guy with a baby face and he can easily pass off as a teenager. He is very talkative and always boasts about his profession as a young doctor. He is snappy dresser, and he likes his suits and formal wear. He had lots of girls visiting his apartment.”
Police spokesperson Lt-Col Mavela Masondo confirmed Chele’s re-arrest and that he is expected to appear before the Pretoria magistrate’s court today.
“We can confirm that he has been re-arrested, however, we cannot reveal the modus operandi of these crimes as that might compromise our investigation. The first case was opened in June 2023. Investigation is underway to establish if he is linked to other criminal activities.”
He faces charges that include fraud, theft of a car, impersonating a medical practitioner and escaping from lawful custody, said Masondo.
According to police, Chele would target women and health workers on Facebook and pose as a medic seeking investors for his Dr King Pharmacy business which does not appear in the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission registry. Police said he started advertising his business of selling sick notes on social media in 2019.
According to an internal incident report that Sowetan has seen, Chele escaped from police custody last week when police took him to his apartment to itemise his assets after the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) had seized the VW GTI Golf he had bought from the allegedly proceeds of crime.
“We left to Joburg with him as a child or minor in an unmarked vehicle and not cuffed in terms of the Child Justice Act. On our arrival at his address at about 9.30am, the managing agent of the complex contacted locksmith to open the door. The [locksmith] took long to arrive and at about 12pm the minor requested toilet and he was escorted.
“We made sure that one member was at the back of the toilet and two in the front. Within no time the minor came in high speed or form of a bullet-bump me and l tried to grab him and subsequently run away into a congested traffic then to the bridge which has lots of trees. I tried to give chase without success. I immediately contacted the 10111 for backup and a search ensued without success (sic),” read the report.
Chele lived at the estate where he paid R6,300 rent, and for months he made his neighbours believe that he was an orthopaedic surgeon working at a Joburg hospital.
At the time of his arrest earlier this month, police found several scrubs from different institutions and one had misspelling of his job title on the name badge. Police also found sick notes that he signed for “patients” he gave a day off for fever in March and July 2020.
According to neighbours, he drove three cars – a Silver Polo, "a blue car" which he claimed belonged to his uncle and a red VW GTI which he bought around August.
“At one stage he asked to transfer money into my neighbour’s bank account, saying he wanted to pay for his uncle’s lobola in cash and that the neighbour should withdraw the money and hand it over to him, but the neighbour refused,” said another resident.