The South African woman who caused an international media frenzy at the beginning of this month after claiming she gave birth to a super-rare teen has been admitted to a hospital’s psychiatric ward for a mental health assessment, her lawyer confirmed to several national media. In a press release, the Ministry of Health questions the existence of the ten babies. “It cannot be that ten or eight babies are born and no proof of their whereabouts or existence can be established.”
The startling news about the alleged birth of the so-called ‘Tembisa 10’ has been dominating the news in South Africa for weeks. The media company that released the story, and is now facing a torrent of criticism, speaks of a “huge cover-up” of health authorities in Gauteng province and is now demanding that they give full disclosure.
The Ministry of Health reacts ‘with dismay and great disappointment’ to the hefty allegations of Independent Media, one of the country’s leading media publishers. In particular, the allegations against a hospital in the administrative capital of Pretoria are angering health officials. “The results of our investigation reaffirm that no teens were born at Steve Biko Academic Hospital,” the ministry said in a press release, stating that authorities are taking the allegations against government and health workers ‘very seriously’.
The government qualifies Independent Media’s hefty accusations as ‘a journalistic error’. “It cannot be that ten or eight babies are born and that no proof of their whereabouts or existence can be established,” the defence. Meanwhile, the partner of Gosiame Thamara Sithole, the alleged mother of the teens, has also said that he no longer believes the children actually exist. The two have been arguing for weeks over the past few weeks, as Sithole refuses to reveal the whereabouts of her newborn children.
Amid the media-fought conflict, Sithole was picked up from her home last week by the police, alleging evidence that she was missing. That turned out not to be the case, but according to local media, the woman was taken to hospital for a psychiatric examination. The exact reason for this has not been disclosed. Her lawyer claims the woman is being held against her will, the South African platform reports News24. The lawyer calls on the Supreme Court to release Sithole as soon as possible.
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It has been discredited Independent Media meanwhile, still remains behind the news about the birth of the deca. “After the confusing turn of events, we launched a private investigation. It emerged that on Monday, June 7, 2021, Sithole was admitted to Steve Biko Hospital late in the morning and taken to the maternity ward. At about 6 p.m., four doctors and two nurses came to her. She then gave birth to five babies vaginally. The other five were born by Caesarean section. It concerns seven boys and three girls,” the statement said.
The news of the birth sparked, according to the media company, “an orchestrated campaign to kill the mother, the editor of” Pretoria News, Independent Media and discredit its chairman with the claim that it was fake news. It’s not and we’re sticking to our story.”
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