Mom of 'Thembisa 10' babies not missing — social development
Gosiame Thamara Sithole, 37, who is said to be the mother of the so-called “Thembisa 10" babies, is not missing, as was reported earlier on Friday.
The Gauteng social development department said in a statement on Friday afternoon: “Gauteng department of social development wishes to confirm that the mother of the decuplets is not missing. She has contacted the Gauteng department of social development and the department will make an announcement in due course. The provincial SAPS has been notified.
“The department will not be taking interviews until it is ready to do so.”
This after News24 reported that a missing person case had been opened for Sithole. It said it had seen information indicating a missing person case was filed at the Thembisa South police station on Thursday.
Attempts to contact all three family members named in a press release issued on Wednesday night were unsuccessful, with none of their phones being answered.
Acting Thembisa police station commander, Col Mokoena, said there was no record of a missing woman case.
“We don’t have such a case; we are surprised. No, we don’t have a missing woman, we should know about that. At my station there is no report like that,” he told TimesLIVE.
There has been confusion about Sithole's whereabouts since Pretoria News newspaper reported on her giving birth to ten babies on June 7. The story was widely reported on. If true, it would have been a new world record. However, both the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) and the provincial health department later said it had been unable to verify the authenticity of the report. Independent Media, which publishes Pretoria News, has said it stands by its story.
Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu has said she is waiting for consolidated information before “going public” on the saga. Zulu told TimesLIVE she held a meeting with the provincial department of social development and the Department of Health and “we have a few loose ends that needed to be sorted out” before briefing the public about what really happened.
* This article has been updated since its initial publication to reflect new developments.
UPDATE JUNE 18: Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu said on Friday, June 18, that she is waiting for consolidated information before “going public” on the saga. Zulu told TimesLIVE she held a meeting with the provincial department of social development and the health department and “we have a few loose ends that needed to be sorted out” before briefing the public about what really happened. Both the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) and the provincial health department have said they are unable to verify the births of the decuplets.