It seems the so-called ‘Tembisa 10’ story just doesn’t want to go away – Independent Media, the organisation which owns Pretoria News and IOL, the publications which broke the story, has come out guns blazing against revelations that there may not be any truth to the report.
Here’s a recap: The family of Tebogo Tsotetsi, who was believed to be the father, revealed on Tuesday, 15 June 2021, that they did not believe that his girlfriend, Gosiame Sithole, had ever given birth to 10 babies. Sithole has since broken her silence, insisting that she had in fact given birth to decuplets – yet no one has seen them.
Now, not only is Independent Media insisting that the story is anything but fake news, it has accused the Gauteng Health Department of possibly being behind a cover-up, to avoid being exposed for alleged medical negligence.
Mother of ‘Tembisa 10’ ill-treated at hospital?
Despite the CEO of Steve Biko Academic Hospital denying that Sithole gave birth to the Tembisa 10 at its facility, Independent Media insists she in fact did. The company alleges that she was given no food, support or any post-natal medical care after giving birth – and that Steve Biko Academic Hospital was ill-equipped to care for her.
That’s not all, the media company further alleges that Sithole was pressurised by the hospital authorities to say she did not give birth to the Tembisa 10 at Steve Biko Hospital. It claims she has suffered trauma and shock – physical and psychological – following her treatment at the hands of both hospital and government authorities.
“We call on the National Government to take urgent action to determine if there was criminal conduct in covering up the botched clinical care of Ms Sithole and her babies, as it appears that Steve Biko Academic Hospital was not fully prepared for the births, and there is an increasing likelihood that there has been extreme medical negligence”
“Instead of being a cause for celebration however, it has resulted in an orchestrated campaign to discredit the story, the mother of the decuplets Ms Sithole, the Pretoria News’ editor, Piet Rampedi, as well as Independent Media and its chairperson, Dr Iqbal Survé, with claims that the story is ‘fake news’. It is not and we stand by our story,” Independent Media said.