Crime News

Woman arrested for operating fake medical practices

SPRINGS, South Africa – A woman was arrested for contravention of parts of the Health Professions Act after she was found to have been operating medical practises in Springs in Gauteng.

According to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), Sonnet-Mari Brand was allegedly handing out prescriptions to patients.

HPCSA’s Priscilla Sekhonyana said in a joint collaboration between the Ekurhuleni East Cluster Crime Intelligence and the Springs police, an inspection was conducted at Brand’s practice.

“The team discovered that Ms Brand was practising as a specialist pulmonologist without any qualifications and is not registered with the council. It was found that she was fraudulently handing out prescriptions to patients to get schedule medication,” she said.

Sekhonyana said Brand had arrived in Springs from Cape Town in April and proceeded to open the two practices.

“However, both practices have subsequently shut down. Ms Brand stated that she had been performing consulting work at the Far East Rand Hospital and conducting house calls after hours. Ms Brand was arrested for contravening Section 17(1)(a) as well as Section 40 of the Health Professions Act. She is scheduled to appear soon,” she said.

Sekhonyana urged members of the community to continue to report all suspicious illegal practices by unregistered persons.

Last week, a Butterworth couple was arrested after they were found to have been illegally operating a medical surgery.

Josiah Kizit and Henrietta Mukengeshayi were charged for contravening the Health Professions Act as well as fraud, forgery, money laundering and uttering.

Hawks spokesperson, Lwando Zenzile, said they were arrested during a takedown operation led by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team assisted by Butterworth Crime Intelligence, SAPS Forensic Sciences Laboratory and the HPCSA.

He said the couple started operating the surgery in January 2019 at Bongalo Mall in Butterworth, charging a R250 consultation fee for each patient.

He said the couple were also dispensing medication to their clients, including injections, without the necessary qualifications and licence.

“They were granted bail of R50 000 each by the Butterworth Magistrate’s Court and their case postponed until November 27 in the Butterworth Magistrate’s Court,” Zenzile said.

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