A report by SaharaReporters has shown that the Gauteng Provincial government of South Africa has said a claim by a woman Gosiame Sithole that she gave birth to 10 babies earlier this month is not true.
This was contained in a statement issued by the government on its official Facebook page.
According to the statement, no hospitals in Gauteng province have a record of 'decuplets' being born.
It also noted that medical tests show that Sithole had not even been pregnant recently.
The 37-year-old is now being held under the mental health act for observation and will be provided with support, the statement said.
It, however, did not elaborate on the reasons behind the fabrication of the story.
In a report by Pretoria News, the media outlet that first reported the story, it was stated that Sithole delivered the children on June 7 at Steve Biko Academic Hospital (SBAH) in the capital, Pretoria, saying staff were ill-prepared.
It accused the hospital and the provincial health authorities of trying to cover up medical negligence.
However, the statement said the allegations were not only false but also unsubstantiated and aimed at tarnishing the good reputation of Steve Biko Academic Hospital and the Gauteng Provincial Government.
The government also said legal action would be taken against the editor-in-chief of Pretoria News, Piet Rampedi.
The statement read, “Following reports published by the Independent Media group about a Gauteng woman having given birth to decuplets on Monday, 7 June 2021, the Gauteng Provincial government conducted a thorough check with all hospitals in the province to establish the veracity or otherwise of reports.
“None of the hospitals in the province, public and private, had any records of such births at their facilities.
“On June 17, 2021, the Pretoria News published a report based on a statement made by the Independent Media alleging that Gosaime Sithole gave birth to decuplets at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital and that government was trying to cover up medical negligence.
“These allegations are false, unsubstantiated, and only serve to tarnish the good reputation of Steve Biko Academic Hospital and the Gauteng Provincial Government.
“Social workers attached to the Gauteng Department of Social Department made contact with Ms Sithole to establish her whereabouts to determine how the department could provide any assistance and care for her and her children. The social workers became concerned for Ms. Sithole's state of health and arranged for her admission at Tembisa hospital for observation.
“Ms Sithole was admitted to Tembisa Hospital on 18 June 2021 and various medical tests were conducted on her to determine her state of health. Initially, she was meant to be kept at the hospital for 72 hours which lapsed on Tuesday 22 June 2021. Upon completing their preliminary examination on Monday 21 June, her doctors recommended that she be kept at the hospital for a further 7 days for further observation, in accordance with the Mental Healthcare Act.
“It has now been established by medical practitioners that Ms Sithole did not give birth to any babies in recent times, it has also been established that she was not pregnant in recent times.
“The Gauteng Provincial Government will continue to give medical, psychological, and social support to Ms Sithole and provide any counselling she might require.
“The Gauteng Provincial Government is deeply concerned by the conduct of the Independent Media, particularly the Editor of the Pretoria News, Mr Piet Ramedi. The Provincial government has instructed the State Attorney to institute legal action against Mr Rampedi and the Independent Group.”
Tebogo Tsotetsi, Sithole's boyfriend had said he had doubts that she had the babies as claimed.