Marizka Coetzer
Journalist
3 minute read
9 Jun 2021
9:52 pm

Tembisa 10 confusion: Here’s everything we (don’t) know

Marizka Coetzer

No hospitals in the Gauteng province have any records of such a delivery, say government officials.

Picture: iStock/SeventyFour

There is still no official record of the 10 babies allegedly born to a Tembisa couple this week.

Teboho Tsotetsi and Gosiame Thamara Sithole from Tembisa, on the East Rand, are apparently the proud parents of 10 babies after Sithole allegedly gave birth to seven boys and three girls on Monday at an unknown hospital.

This is according to exclusive interviews with the Pretoria News, which appeared to have conducted a masterclass in protecting its sources so tightly not even government could find them.

ALSO READ: UPDATE: ‘Tembisa 10′ mystery deepens: Babies’ grandma speaks up

Late Wednesday afternoon, Gauteng government spokesperson Thabo Masebe said in a statement it “conducted a thorough check with all hospitals in the province to establish the veracity or otherwise of the report”.

“None of the hospitals in the province, public and private, have any records of such a delivery.”

Gauteng department of health spokesperson Philani Mhlungu also confirmed their facilities didn’t have such information.

“We are told she delivered in a private hospital,” Mhlungu said. Guinness World Records editor-in-chief Craig Glenday was also nonplussed at the news, having failed to reach the media house to ratify the news making headlines around the world.

The newly appointed spokesperson for the couple, Makgoshi Maponyane, has been unreachable on WhatsApp and her direct telephone line.

The search for the seemingly happy couple continued as various private hospitals confirmed the birthing did not happen at their facilities.

“We can confirm that the babies were not born at a Netcare hospital,” said Natasha Burger, spokesperson for the Netcare Group.

Elzaan de Beer, spokesperson for Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital, also shrugged her shoulders about the birth of the babies.

The Life Care Group did not respond to attempts for comment.

Dr Eric Pule, spokesperson for Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, confirmed the birthing did not take place at either of the university’s hospitals.

Fiziwe Ndwayana, spokesperson for the department of social development, told Jacanews the mother had been a client of the department since 2019.

Ndwayana added the mother and her babies were in a place of safety.

ALSO READ: How much does it cost to raise 10 babies?

Ndwayana, however, did not want to comment further about birth and told The Citizen the department would speak on the matter on Thursday after social workers visited the mother.

The initial story left many confused, including Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina and the deputy director-general of the Government Communication and Information System, Phumla Williams, who went on a wild goose chase to find the 10 Tembisa babies.

Williams took to social media on Tuesday to ask about the alleged 10 babies and told The Citizen that by Wednesday afternoon, that she still had no new updates on the babies.

However, Masina apparently has found the happy family.

“We’ve found the family and we are informed the babies are well and will share the information with national government. I know we were a joke yesterday [Tuesday when government was genuinely looking for the family. Some of our local comrades have been assisting this family,” he tweeted.

A day after the news broke about the decuplets, the couple asked for donations from readers.

Independent Media asked readers to donate baby goods including nappies, baby bottles, wipes, blankets, baby clothes, baby creams, soap, bathtubs, breast pumps, feeding pillows, pacifiers or cash.

In the meantime, twittersphere was also feeling the magic when former politician Lindiwe Mazibuko suggested a #NationalBabyShower.

This saw big brands and names jump in to support, such as Lucky Star, which offered a year’s supply of tinned fish, while the Hungry Lion offered the couple a 21-piece bucket each month for the “kingsized family”.

First For Woman also tweeted R10,000 would be donated to the “fearless mama” while Mike Abel of the M&C Saatchi Group tweeted they would be donating nappies and milk.

marizkac@citizen.co.za