Mystery surrounds birth of ‘ten babies’ as mystery surrounds after their father asks the public to stop donating cash to his family and says she has still not let him see her brood
Gosiame Thamara Sithole, 37, claims to have given birth to the decuplets – 7 boys and 3 girls – on June 8, in her Pretoria in the state of Guateng
No one has seen the babies, their photos or their mother a week after their arrival
But some doubt remains over the authenticity, with government officials saying they have no record of the birth and no doctor coming forward to confirm it
Police have opened a missing person’s case searching for Sithole and questioning her partner and the alleged father, Teboho Tsotetsi, who said that he is yet to see her or the babies
Tsotetsi appealed to the public to stop sending him and his partner donations after he accepted $70,407 [ZAR 972,443], on Wednesday in Cape Town
The father of ten babies said to have been born to a 37-year-old woman in the city of Pretoria, in South Africa’s Guateng state, has asked the public to stop donating money to stop donating money into both their bank accounts until she returns home.
‘I appreciate the financial support that we have been getting from members of the public, but I also would like to appeal to the public to stop making money deposits into our accounts until members of the community have seen the babies,’ Tsotetsi said in a WhatsApp message, the Pretoria News. reports.
In a statement to police on Saturday, in support of a missing person inquiry, Teboho Tsotetsi told the police he was concerned about Gosiame Sithole’s whereabouts and her safety since she told him he was not allowed to see his decuplets due to Covid-19 regulations.
Tsotetsi claims Sithole had left him with her twins who were equally concerned about her whereabouts and safety. The twins are currently staying with his mother Sithole said, and while he doesn’t mind taking care of them, they miss their mother.
Gosiame Thamara Sithole made headlines when it was claimed she gave birth to a set of decuplets on June 8.
However, her partner, Teboho Tsotetsi, has come out to say that he has not yet been allowed to see the children, as mystery continues to surround the potentially record-breaking record birth of ten babies.
Tsotetsi said he had seen his heavily pregnant girlfriend for the last time on the night of Sunday, June 7, when he accompanied her to the Esangweni Clinic in Tembisa, after she complained about labor pains.
But almost a week after, and Sithole’s repeatedly failure to disclose her location, Tsotetsi he filed a missing person’s report and gave the police a statement in support of their inquiry on Saturday. The inquiry came after Tsotetsi’s family members opened a missing person case at the Tembisa South police station June 10.
In his statement, Tsotetsi said he had received a WhatsApp message from Sithole shortly after midnight on Monday, June 8. This was after she told him earlier that she was at Mediclinic Medforum Hospital and that her C-section was scheduled between 6pm and 8pm that night.
The rambling statement to police begins with Tsotetsi stating: “On June 8 2021at 00:02am, I received a WhatsApp message from my girlfriend: Gosiame Thamara Sithole, informing me that she has given birth to 10 babies.
At 00:30am she informed me that they were at the Medforum Hospital. She then informed me that no physical visits are allowed at the hospital. I subsequently insisted that, as a father, I would like to come to the hospital to see our newly born children,” Tsotetsi’s statement said.
He said that on Friday, Sithole informed him that, at her request, Mediclinic Medforum Hospital had moved her to the lodge facilities of the Steve Biko Academic Hospital [SBAH], a day earlier.
But according to South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper, the Mediclinic Medforum Hospital in Pretori, where Sithole, is claimed to have told her husband she gave birth to the babies after midnight on June 8, has also stated that it had not treated her.
While the clinic said it was aware of the publicity around the birth of the babies, spokesperson Tertia Kruger told the newspaper following the Pretoria News report on Monday: ‘We can confirm that none of our facilities were involved in the obstetric care of this patient or her decuplets.’
Teboho Tsotetsi is also quoted in the Pretoria News story as saying that Sithole had been moved to the Steve Biko Academic Hospital on Friday, but the Sunday Times reported that Gauteng health and provincial authorities were unable to trace her at any of their public or private health facilities.
“Having requested her to forward me the physical address of the lodge, she forwarded the location being: Tshwane District Hospital, Dr Savage Road, Pretoria. On Friday, June 11, at 16:24, out of concern for their whereabouts, I sent her a WhatsApp message reading as follows:”
Hi baby, like I said, I went to seek the lawyer’s help for being harassed by the police. They say they are investigating a case of a missing person because your whereabouts are unknown. I am currently with her, and have explained to her that I don’t know where you and the babies are, but that I had an arrangement to meet today but couldn’t because we had to see the lawyer for our safety. She has advised me that I should not go and see you as I had been tracked by the police, and If they get hold of me I will be arrested as I am a suspect now because I am the last person to see you. I really needed to see you but my priority is our safety. Please forward me your picture and the pictures of our babies. At 17:03, she sent me the following location of her whereabouts: “Tshwane District Hospital, Dr Savage Road, Pretoria.”
CEO of the Hospital, Dr. Mathabo Mathebula, told Radio 702 that Sithole had arrived at the hospital saying she was the woman who had given birth to 10 babies, but said she was not at the hospital.
‘She’s not at the hospital as we speak. We don’t know the background … on Saturday afternoon she appeared, being accompanied by security, [and said] she wants to go to the NIU (neonatal inpatient unit) because she wants to see her babies.
‘She said she gave birth at Louis Pasteur and they told her they will transfer the babies to the [Steve Biko] hospital,’ Mathebula told the radio station.
Tsotetsi, the alleged father, has said that he is yet to see the babies himself due to safety concerns over the coronavirus, and that he has not seen his wife since she left home on June 7.
Meanwhile, Tsotetsi flew to Cape Town on Wednesday to accept a $70,407 [ZAR 972,443] donation for the children’s care while insisting the world will get to see them ‘at the right time’ – as doubt remains over the authenticity of the birth.
Tsotetsi claims his wife gave birth to decuplets – seven boys and three girls – after a ‘natural’ 29-week pregnancy, even though such births are almost always the result of fertility treatments.
Since then a number of relatives have come forward to insist that the birth is genuine, even as local officials say they have no record of the delivery taking place at any hospital in Guateng state, where Pretoria is located.
No doctor has yet come forward to verify the delivery and no pictures of the infants have been published – ostensibly for cultural and religious reasons.
If the birth is confirmed as genuine, it would be a world record – coming just a month after a Malian woman, Halima Cisse, gave birth to nine children in Morocco.
Last week, the infant’s aunt claimed that the ten babies were fighting for their lives at a hospital in South Africa.
The aunt, who has not been publicly identified, said Sithole is also recovering in the same Pretoria hospital after giving birth to five of the children naturally and another five by Caesarean section on Monday.
‘[The babies] are still in incubators fighting for their lives. They came at 29 weeks; the mother is still weak… This is a sensitive issue,’ the woman told TimesLIVE.
Still their father Father Tebogo Tsotetsi, who broke the news to journalists, said the world will get to see them ‘at the right time’ as doubt remains over whether it is genuine.
Tsotetsi told Pretoria News last week ‘They are premature, they are still incubated. Very small as you can think – 10 children in one womb that normally carries one baby.
‘They are very small, so the sensitivity that goes into that, even the doctors, they don’t want to risk that.’
He added that five babies were born naturally and another five were delivered by C-section, saying a team of six doctors, two gynecologists and two nurses helped.
Tsotetsi said his wife was exhausted after the birth, but that she had managed to get out of bed and take a short walk on Wednesday.
‘She is doing very well.’ he added.
Tsotetsi says offered another message where Tsotetsi told him that she had yet to see her babies herself, because the doctors and nurses told her no visitors were allowed, adding that the medical staff advised her to wait until she felt better, and to keep a low profile because the media were looking for her. A claim that has not been verified by the Mediclinic Medforum.
In another message, Sithole is purported to have told her boyfriend that the lodge was inside the Steve Biko Academic Hospital. It accommodated mothers who gave birth to “premature” babies.
Sithole said she was told that accommodation had been arranged for her at the lodge. She was not told who made the arrangements.
Once she was moved to Steve Biko’s lodges section, Sithole added, she was kept away from other mothers of stillborn children because the doctors and nurses said the media were looking for her.
“We have been put in a safe and private room because the babies are too small. I am also feeling weak and stressed. The babies are in the ICU. They realized that I am not right and have now organised a psychologist to give me counselling,” Sithole said in the WhatsApp message.
Tsotetsi also shared the first pictures Sithole sent him on Friday.
In one of the pictures, she is sitting on a bed in what looks like a hospital ward. In the other, Sithole is sitting inside the room of what looks like a lodge or a hotel.
Tsotetsi was the first to break the news of the apparent birth to reporters last week Monday, telling the Pretoria News that his wife had given birth to seven boys and three girls.
‘I am happy. I am emotional. I can’t talk much,’ he said at the time.
The news quickly spread around the world, followed by a scramble for official information on the pregnancy and birth that has so-far proved elusive. The local media has not fully bought the news, with some outlets rushing to confirm the news while others quickly derided it.
To date, no definitive account of the pregnancy or birth has been published, but South African Government officials have gone so far as to confirm they are aware of the case and have been in contact with the family before, after Sithole gave birth to twins in 2016.
However, Feziwe Ndwayana, a spokesperson for the Department of Social Development, Tuesday added to the uncertainty when she said that she cannot confirm the birth of 10 children because nobody has been in contact with Sithole recently.
Ndwayana added that a social worker was to be sent to the family home last week to try and confirm the authenticity of the delivery.
Pretoria News claims to have been in touch with the family for months over the pregnancy, but held on to the story until after the birth. The newspaper claims it is not publishing all the details it has about the delivery because of ‘cultural and religious reasons’.
Alongside news of the birth, which first appeared in Tuesday’s paper, the outlet also ran an interview with Sithole and Totetsi that they said was conducted several months ago.
At the time, Sithole believed she was pregnant with eight children – having initially been told she was carrying six before two more were discovered on a later scan. It was only during the birth itself that the remaining two children were discovered, according to the newspaper.
The Gauteng government said on Wednesday it has “no record” of the 10 babies reported to have been born in Pretoria this week.
Thabo Masebe, spokesperson for the provincial government: “We have no record of the 10 babies at any Gauteng hospital. Unless if they were born in the air, we checked both private and public hospitals and no-one knows about the case. Another question is, where are the obstetricians who delivered the babies and the pediatrician who is looking after them? No-one is coming forward.”