Nica Richards
Deputy online news editor
4 minute read
15 Jun 2021
6:18 pm

Tembisa 10: ‘Babies don’t exist, help us find mom,’ says family

Nica Richards

The family of the now 'non-existent' decuplets' mother are asking for help in finding her, while the reporter behind their fame is investigating the case.

Gosiame Sithole before the 'birth'. Picture: Twitter/PietRampedi

In yet another bizarre turn of events, the family of the father the so-called “Tembisa 10” babies have said that that unless proven otherwise, in their minds, the babies do not exist. 

Meanwhile, the reporter who broke the news to great fanfare last week has launched a ” full investigation into the whereabouts of babies” (sic) and all the other circumstances surrounding the bizarre tale.

In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, the Tsotetsi family, relatives of the alleged mother’s boyfriend Tebogo, said that he had not yet seen the decuplets, and relied solely on Gosiame Sithole’s updates of their birth. This came via WhatsApp messages.

The family said despite Tsotetsi making “several attempts” to visit Sithole, she failed to disclose her and the babies’ whereabouts. 

With uncertainties and rumours running rampant, which the family said was of “major concern”, without any proof that the decuplets exist, they have no choice but to acknowledge that the babies do not exist. 

“The family never claimed to have seen the decuplets and relied on the call and WhatsApp confirmation from the girlfriend. The family lost contact with Gosiame Sithole and with her phone off they opened a case of a missing person.”

ALSO READ: South Africans react to missing Tembisa 10: Where are the nation’s babies?

Despite losing faith in the existence of the decuplets, the Tsotetsis said they remain concerned for Sithole, but called on members of the public to stop donating to her. 

“We appreciate the public interests and support for the decuplets, and with no proof of their existence, we firmly believe it’s in the interests of everyone to conclude that they do not exist, until proven otherwise.

“We will now shift our attention to finding Gosiame Sithole whilst praying for her safety.”

ALSO READ: Tembisa 10: Mediclinic tells family they don’t have the babies

Family spokesperson Russell Baloyi told The Citizen that people bought into the story after it was reported by Piet Rampedi, who Baloyi said was supporting Sithole with hospital checkups since November last year. 

“And the family is very thankful for his role. But there’s no proof of the 10 babies.”

Baloyi also said this time had been particularly difficult and frustrating for the Tsotetsis, with Sithole not disclosing her location or that of the babies. 

He pleaded with South Africans to help find her. 

Rampedi now tasked with investigating his own story

Rampedi, meanwhile, has taken to Twitter and started asking several questions about the story, which have been at the front of everyone’s minds since he first put the decuplets into the spotlight a week ago.

Rampedi, the editor of the Pretoria News, said the story has now gone from “from a feel good story into a full investigation into the whereabouts of babies, where Sithole gave birth, what transpired during & after delivery, why was the family denied access to babies, & who played what role.”

He also announced that contrary to previous reports, he was not acting as the family spokesperson.

This is a significant change of tune from the reporter as well as his supporters, who had previously labelled similar questions from the public and other media houses as being the work of a so-called “ThumaminaMedia” group, seeking to discredit him and his work.

Mystery mom Sithole responds

Sithole, meanwhile, has responded to the Tsotetsi family statement, denying claims that she was missing, and insisting she did give birth to the babies.

Sithole also said the family only released the statement after they “met some politicians”.

She said the family was angry “because they wanted to benefit financially from the public donations”, Rampedi tweeted on Tuesday night.