Bogus doctor may have given police fake address

A woman who was arrested for posing as a medical doctor at the Tembisa Hospital Provincial Tertiary Hospital this week may have misled the authorities about her residential address.

The woman, who has been identified as 37-year-old Nthabeleng Precious Ramashala, made her first court appearance at the Tembisa Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

She is facing charges of contravention of the Health Act (impersonating a medical doctor) and for being in possession of presumed stolen property.

According to the charge sheet submitted to court by police, Ramashala mentioned her residential address as unit 702 at a Hillbrow block of flats. However, security guards and tenants there told Sunday World they have never heard of her and that she doesn’t live there.  Also while she gave her address as a seventh-floor unit, security guards confirmed the building only goes up to six floors.

The Gauteng Department of Health said Ramashala was nabbed in a ward, while doing rounds with a stethoscope dangling around her neck.

Nurses who spotted her and saw nothing doctoral about her demeanour, raised the alarm.

“The police were called to the scene, and the preliminary investigation revealed that she was a bogus doctor. The suspect was arrested and charged with impersonating a medical practitioner,” said Gauteng police spokesperson Lt-Col Mavela Masondo.

Health department spokesperson Motalatale Modiba said a preliminary report from the department revealed that Rama­shala was admitted as a patient from May 23 to 28 at the very ward where she was arrested.

Questions also remain about how Ramashala evaded security, gained access or what she was planning to do in the ward.

Attempts by Sunday World to establish whether the charge of possession of presumed stolen property related to the stethoscope drew a blank. The prosecutor said the information would be revealed at the next court appearance or when the formal bail proceeding is held.

Nurses, who raised alarm,   said: “On interaction with her, her medical knowledge was questionable.”

Modiba said:  “Security personnel were notified of the suspected imposter. She was requested to produce her Health Professions Council of South Africa registration number and personal and salary system number and she was unable to do so.”

During court proceedings on Friday, Ramashala appeared rather casual and was reprimanded by court orderlies for not standing up straight and having her hands in her pockets while in the dock. She was dressed in black sweatpants, a black jacket and a hat.

She chose to enlist the services of a Legal Aid SA lawyer after magistrate Mmule Phatshwane informed her of her right to legal representation.  After a brief consultation with Ramashala, the Legal Aid SA lawyer revealed she has no convictions, pending cases nor warrants of arrest against her.

Prosecutor Maxwell Randima asked Phatshwane for the matter to be postponed for further investigations and verification of Ramashala’s address.

Phatshwane postponed the matter to July 2, for further investigations and for police to verify Ramashala’s residential address. She was remanded in custody.

Ramashala seemed to be stunned by the lengthy postponement. As she was taken down to the holding cells she muttered to herself: “2 July!”

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