Fake doctor runs out of luck
A 27-year-old fake doctor who habitually wore a stethoscope around his neck has been arrested for allegedly promising businessmen contracts worth R50-million to build a state-of-the-art Netcare medical services call centre.
The man is expected to appear in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday on fraud charges and for impersonating a doctor.
"He [allegedly] conned people of thousands of rands by promising them tenders at local hospitals and promising hospital jobs to desperate people," alleged Captain Thulani Zwane on Wednesday.
Zwane said that the man was allegedly in possession of documents bearing fake logos of private hospital group Netcare, the KwaZulu-Natal department of health, and banks.
He was said to have had forged tender letters, tender adverts, employment letters and invoices.
"Police investigations revealed that the so-called doctor would read about tender and job adverts in the print media and on the internet and, armed with that information, would target business people and make a presentation, promising them tenders," said Zwane.
"He would not ask for bribes directly, but would offer to represent them in meetings and his victims would have to pay for his flights to Pretoria and for his accommodation at expensive hotels."
After his arrest, business people flocked to the Commercial Crime Unit's offices in John Ross House, Durban, and identified the 27-year-old as the man who took money from them and promised them tenders worth millions.
"He has been linked to more than 10 cases," Zwane said.
"We don't know how long he has been doing this and at this stage we don't know whether he was working alone."
Jacques du Plessis, managing director of Netcare's hospital division, said he was not aware of the allegations.