Woman who claims she gave birth to ten children is ‘held in psychiatric facility’

·3 min read
A still of mother Gosiame Thamara Sithole and Tebogo Tsotetsi, before the alleged birth of 10 babies (Screengrab/ Pretoria News/Independent Media/Twitter)
A still of mother Gosiame Thamara Sithole and Tebogo Tsotetsi, before the alleged birth of 10 babies (Screengrab/ Pretoria News/Independent Media/Twitter)

Gosiame Thamara Sithole, the woman who claims to have given birth to a record-setting 10 babies earlier this month, has been admitted to a psychiatric ward in Tembisa, South Africa.

Last Thursday, the 37-year-old was apprehended by police officers at a relative’s house in the northern township of Rabie Ridge, near Johannesburg.

She was taken to a police station in the suburb of Chloorkop before officers passed her case on to social workers who then admitted her to Tembisa Hospital’s psychiatric ward for a mental health assessment.

Ms Sithole had not been seen publicly since she claimed to have given birth to decuplets on 8 June, including by her boyfriend, Tebogo Tsotetsi, the father of the babies.

Mr Tsotetsi, who initially told Pretoria News that his girlfriend had given birth to seven boys and three girls, no longer believes that the ten babies exist.

His disbelief follows a statement from the hospital where Ms Sithole claims to have given birth denying treating the woman or attending to the births.

Police launched a public inquiry into the births, which found that none of the private or public hospitals in the region had any record of a delivery of 10 babies in their facilities.

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Some local media, however, insist that the babies were born, with IOL suggesting that a “mammoth” cover up is ongoing, involving the government and local health authorities. Relatives of Ms Sithole also maintain that she did give birth to decuplets.

Police say that Ms Sithole was apprehended in response to a report that she was a missing person, filed by Ms Tsotetsi’s relatives.

Ms Sithole’s attorney, Refiloe Mokoena, says that her client is currently “being held against her will” at the hospital.

She told reporters that her client was initially denied legal access, and that Ms Sithole’s request to visit a private psychologist instead of the psychiatric ward at the hospital was also denied.

“She declined that she should be taken to Tembisa Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation because she felt strongly that she is of sound mind.”

“When I left Tembisa Hospital, she made it clear that seeing that she is now being held against her will, I should please move an urgent court order for her to be released.”

Upon her admission to the Tembisa Hospital last week, Ms Sithole was examined by a medical team. A source told South Africa’s Eyewitness News: “The medical evaluation has shown that there was no pregnancy. It also shows that there are no physical scars to indicate a recent C-section”.

Mr Tsotetsi’s family released a statement which casts into doubt the existence of the babies.

It reads: “He (Tebogo) made several attempts to visit his girlfriend, but she has failed to disclose her whereabouts and the condition of her babies.

“The family has resolved and concluded that there are no decuplets born between Tebogo Tsotetsi and Gosiame Sithole, until proven otherwise.”

If proven to be true, this would be the first recorded instance of ten babies being born at once, overtaking Halima Cisse, a Malian woman who gave birth to nine children in a Moroccan hospital last month.

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