Woman who said she gave birth to 10 babies lied and wasn’t pregnant – officials
A local government inquiry found that the South African woman who claimed to have given birth to record breaking ten kids was lying, and was not even pregnant this whole time.
In a statement released by the Gauteng Provincial Government, they said they "conducted a thorough check with all hospitals in the province to establish the veracity" of this story.
"None of the hospitals in the province, public and private, had any records of such births at their facilities," they added.
Earlier this month, Gosiame Sithole accused her husband Tebogo Tsotetsi of wanting to use the children for financial gain, as the "dad" claimed that he had yet to meet the children a week after birth.
After the report, Sithole was taken in for a 72-hour psychiatric evaluation that was extended by a week, the officials said.
“It has now been established by medical practitioners that Ms Sithole did not give birth to any babies in recent times,” the statement revealed.
“It has also been established that she was not pregnant in recent times.”
Several family relatives helped keep up this lie, by maintaining earlier that Sithole did indeed recently give birth to 10 children — overtaking former world record holder “Octomom” Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to eight children in 2009, and Halima Cisse, a Malian woman who gave birth to nine children at a Moroccan hospital in May.
The government said it “instructed the State Attorney to institute legal action” against the paper that broke the story — the Pretoria News — over a follow-up story that suggested the “government was trying to cover up medical negligence” by holding Sithole.
“These allegations are false, unsubstantiated and only serve to tarnish the good reputation of Steve Biko Academic Hospital and the Gauteng Provincial Government,” the statement said.
The government said it was “deeply concerned by the conduct” of the paper, “particularly the Editor of the Pretoria News, Mr. Piet Rampedi,” who would also be part of the lawsuit.
Mr Rampedi apologised to his employees over the debunked scoop, admitting that his friendship with Sithole clouded his judgement and led him to make the errors he did.
In an email, he wrote “I am sorry for the reputational damage the aftermath of the story has caused for the group, the company and my colleagues in general.”
“To be blunt, the story provided detractors with an opportunity to cast aspersions on the professional integrity of not only myself, but also my colleagues in the group. For that, I am extremely sorry.”
He admitted that he never demanded documentary proof as he felt that “they had no reason to lie to me about the pregnancy".
“However, judging by the sudden turn of events and the reaction from the government and our detractors, I was wrong,” he said.
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