Gosiame Thamara Sithole and Teboho Tsotetsi, the parents of the country’s famous yet elusive decuplets, are not married and her staunchly religious family have shunned her as result, according to a source close to mother Sithole.
Sithole and Tsotsetsi dominated the news agenda this week, after the Pretoria News reported on their 10 babies born on Monday following Sithole’s C-section. The report listed Tsotetsi as Sithole’s husband, despite referring to her by her maiden name and saying she was a retail manager.
The source, however, says she is unmarried and unemployed. As a result, the source is concerned about her as they have been unable to locate her, just like everyone else.
In addition to being concerned about her mental health, given the magnitude of the possible situation, the source said Sithole already had five children before falling pregnant with the decuplets, the so-called Tembisa 10.
Sithole’s six-year-old triplets and three-year-old twins are believed to be with her family.
Although the source has been in contact with Sithole this week, they claim that they have been unable to locate her, because even she does not know what facility she is in. The source claims she has expressed her wish to be discharged, to no avail.
The Citizen is in possession of a voice note said to have been sent to Sithole by Tsotetsi.
In the voice note, a Setswana speaking man can be heard saying, “Baby, I am begging you, please, and I hope that you understand … the talkative person that you have given your number to or the friends that you have spoken to or anyone else, please tell them that you cannot talk to them.
“They must check today’s edition of Pretoria News, there are details there. Don’t talk to anyone, please. They will spoil things that I am currently busy with. I told you that I am going to Cape Town, I am currently in their offices. I just got good news that I need to share with you,” he adds.
He concludes: “I beg you, don’t speak to anyone, whether they’re your friends or they say they are a social worker. Help will come on its own in the proper way, our way. Let us not rush it. Already, this thing has been publicised, by next week Monday a lot of things will be in place.”
The actual existence of the babies had been questioned by members of the public after various government departments were unable to locate Sithole and verify the births.
Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina later shared a statement from members of the Tsotetsi family confirming the decuplets’ birth on Wednesday evening.
The family members quoted in the statement have been unreachable since Wednesday.
The source made even more damning allegations about Tsotetsi, who is said to have been mistreating Sithole while she was pregnant and berated her for not using contraceptives.
The source said a number of people who know Sithole are worried about Tsotetsi’s intentions as he was not even present for the birth of his children. At the time the 10 babies were born, Tsotetsi is said to have been in Cape Town to meet with controversial businessman Iqbal Surve to receive a donation.
According to The Daily Voice, Surve donated R1 million to Tsotetsi. Surve is the executive chairperson of Independent Media, which owns both the Pretoria News and Daily Voice, the only publications privy to information about the babies.
Pretoria News editor Piet Rampedi has apparently had exclusive access to the mother since before the birth. The newspaper published a story quoting Tsotetso saying the country “will see the babies when the time is right”.
At the time of writing, several government departments were still not able to locate Sithole to confirm the birth or the fact that the pair are indeed married.
The Department of Home Affairs had not responded to enquiries about the babies or their registration of birth.