On one side is the family of the father of the newborns who claim that the woman is missing and that she has never given birth to 10 babies. On the other side is the journalist who monitored the pregnancy and assures that 10 children were born, demanding the truth from the health authorities in South Africa.
Last week, Pretoria News reported that Gosiame Thamara Sithole had given birth to 10 babies at once, which could break the world record.
“There are seven boys and three girls,” his father, Tebogo Tsotetsi, told the South African newspaper at the time.
“The family concludes that 10 babies were not born”
A week later, Tebogo Tsotetsi’s family issued a statement, in which they concluded that the 10 newborns never existed.
“Tebogo confirmed that he did not see the 10 babies and that he believed his girlfriend when she called him to inform him about his birth. He tried several times to visit his girlfriend and the babies, but she did not reveal where he was or the condition of the children.” , quotes the South African EWN News.
The family said this uncertainty was “a major concern”: “Especially, lacking evidence of the children’s existence, other than calls and messages from the mother.”
According to the EWN, the Gauteng Health Department could not find any records of the births of the 10 babies.
“The family concludes that 10 babies were not born, until proven otherwise, and apologizes for any inconvenience or embarrassment.”
“It became an orchestrated campaign to discredit history”
Independent Media, the media group that owns Pretoria News, which advanced the story last week, has already reacted to the controversy. He said the birth of the 10 babies is not “false news”, but rather “a cover-up by health authorities in Gauteng, which has taken on gigantic proportions”.
After a private investigation, the South African group maintains the story it published.
“Instead of being a cause for celebration, it became an orchestrated campaign to discredit the story, the mother of 10 babies, the editor of Petroria News, as well as Independent Media and its director, Iqbal Survé, alleging that the story is ‘fake news’. It’s not and we keep our story,” the statement group said.
The story was written by Piet Rampedi, the editor of Pretoria News, who followed the pregnancy of Gosiame Thamara Sithole for several months. During these months, the couple shared news with the journalist, such as discussions with their doctor or ultrasounds, which revealed that Gosiame was pregnant with eight babies.
Independent Media kept the story going: the woman gave birth to 10 babies – seven boys and three girls. He added that doctors were surprised when, instead of eight, 10 babies were born.
After the release of the news by Pretoria News, the communication department of the South African Government issued a statement clarifying that it had not been able to prove the birth of the 10 babies.
The Gauteng Health Department came forward with the same information. However, according to Independent Media, other government departments issued contradictory statements, confirming or denying the birth.
With a list of evidence of the birth of the 10 babies, which it admits to sending to the competent authorities, Independent Media is now demanding the truth from the country’s health authorities.