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Fake Medical Intern Arrested, Faces Fraud Charges

A woman who duped five different KwaZulu-Natal (KNZ) hospitals into thinking she was a medical intern is now facing charges of fraud, having written prescriptions and stitched up patients’ wounds during a two year con-job that Catch Me If You Can’s Leonardo diCaprio would have been proud of.

According to the Sunday Times, 23-year-old Nokwanda Ndlovu told employers at several hospitals that she needed to finish up her clinical internship to earn her degree at Wits University, having also embellished that she was an orphan in a bid to gain their sympathy and fudge their judgement.

She ran the scam for over two years between November 2017 and December 2019.

Earlier this month, the South African reported on another KZN fraudster who had duped clients into believing that she was an estate agent, but it’s fair to say that the ramifications of Ndlovu’s alleged deceit are far more serious.

Ndlovu was able to bounce between a variety of provincial medical facilities, even after she was found out in September 2019.

Aged just 20-years-old, she began working as an intern at Benedictine Hospital, Nongoma, in 2017, before moving to Nongoma Hospital between November 2017 and February 2018, and then Hlabisa Hospital later that year.

As she continued to bounce around various hospitals in KZN unnoticed, she was later found to be in the employ of Nkandla Hospital in June 2019, and then later at Hlengisizwe Community Health Centre.

A Hammarsdale community member ultimately blew the whistle on Ndlovu in September 2019.

KZN police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala said that Ndlovu had been arrested after details of her fraudulent spree were reported to police.

“A case of fraud is being investigated by Nkandla SAPS. A 23-year-old suspect was arrested for fraud after she posed as a doctor at a hospital in Nkandla,” she said.

“She was arrested last year. She will appear in court again on July 27.”

A host of former colleagues of the fraudster told the Sunday Times that Ndlovu had no idea what she was doing, demonstrating a complete lack of knowledge about basic medical principles, but said that their judgement on her was clouded by her assertions of having been orphaned.

One nurse said that it was obvious that something about the young “doctor” didn’t add up.

“All of us knew that something was just not right about her. She did not know how to stitch patients, she did not know the most basic medical processes like reading blood pressure, the difference between diastolic or systolic, what each of those mean – she had no idea.”

Another nurse said that she had been living in the doctor’s quarters at one of the hospitals that she was able to dupe into employing her.

“She told us she was an orphan so we all felt pity for her and I think that clouded our judgment. She had no place to live so they let her stay at the doctors’ quarters.”

“She was a nice girl, but after a few weeks there was gossip, because she only had two sets of clothes, and we have had students but that is rare. She gave us a sense that she was in transit.”

“She also could not insert a catheter bag, that was strange.”


Written by Ph

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