The South African woman who claimed to birth a record 10 babies was not pregnant, a local government statement said Wednesday.
The Gauteng Provincial Government said they “conducted a thorough check with all hospitals in the province to establish the veracity or otherwise” of Gosiame Sithole’s claims that she had given birth to 10 babies.
“None of the hospitals in the province, public and private, had any records of such births at their facilities,” the government said.
STATEMENT OF THE GAUTENG PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT ON THE SO-CALLED “DECUPLETS” pic.twitter.com/b6JVJwdSJp
— GautengGov (@GautengProvince) June 23, 2021
Sithole, 37, was taken on June 18 to Tembisa hospital and received medical tests to determine her state of health. She planned to stay for only 72 hours, but doctors recommended she stay for an additional 7 days for further observation, according to the local government.
“It has now been established by medical practitioners that Ms Sithole did not give birth to any babies in recent times,” the statement said. “It has also been established that she was not pregnant in recent times.” (RELATED: Baby Boy Discovered To Have Been Born With Three Penises)
The government also said they would file suit against Pretoria News, the newspaper that broke the story, and published a follow-up where they claimed that Sithole had birthed the babies and that the government was trying to hide “medical negligence.”
“These allegations are false, unsubstantiated and only serve to tarnish the good reputation of Steve Biko Academic Hospital and the Gauteng Provincial Government,” the government statement said.
Piet Rampedi, the editor of the Pretoria News, apologized to his employees about the story, saying he has “sadness and regret,” admitting he took Sithole at her word because he was friends with her, according to TimesLIVE.
“I am sorry for the reputational damage the aftermath of the story has caused for the group, the company and my colleagues in general,” he said, according to TimesLIVE. “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.”
Rampedi said the couple didn’t talk to other journalists because he felt there was “nothing to investigate.”
“They had no reason to lie to me about the pregnancy. For me, it was a story of celebration. Hence, I never demanded documentary proof of the pregnancy, such as scanners and clinic cards, for instance, as I would normally do with an investigative story,” he wrote, according to TimesLIVE. “However, judging by the sudden turn of events and the reaction from the government and our detractors, I was wrong,”
A Malian woman gave birth to nine babies after only expecting seven in May, snagging the Guinness World Record from an American woman who gave birth to eight in 2009.
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