‘There are no 10 babies’: Tsotetsi family statement as saga continues

Family said on Tuesday night the ‘Thembisa 10 do not exist - until proven otherwise’

15 June 2021 - 18:23 By TimesLIVE
The whereabouts of Gosiame Sithole, who alleged she gave birth to 10 babies, are unknown.
The whereabouts of Gosiame Sithole, who alleged she gave birth to 10 babies, are unknown.
Image: Twitter

“There are no decuplets born between Tebogo Tsotetsi and Gosiame Sithole until proven otherwise.”

This shock statement was released by the Tsotetsi family on Tuesday night as the drama and confusion around the “Thembisa 10” continued.

“We appreciate the public interest and support for the decuplets, and with no proof of their existence, we firmly believe it is in the interests of everyone to conclude they do not exist, until proven otherwise. We will now shift our attention to finding Gosiame Sithole while praying for her safe return.”

In the statement, the family said they met on Tuesday at their Thembisa home.

“Tebogo confirmed he has not seen the decuplets and relied on his girlfriend, who called to inform him of their birth. He made several attempts to visit his girlfriend and the babies but she failed to disclose her whereabouts and the condition of their babies.

“The current uncertainties and public discourse about the decuplets is of major concern to the family, especially in the absence of any proof of the decuplets’ existence other than telephonic and WhatsApp messages from the mother.

“The family has resolved and concluded there are no decuplets born between Tebogo Tsotetsi and Gosiame Sithole, until proven otherwise, and wishes to apologise for any inconvenience and embarrassment,” the statement reads.

The contact person on the statement, Russell Baloyi, confirmed he was the family spokesperson and that the statement was legitimate.

A family friend, Matomakgole Mahlangu, whose number was provided as a contact last week, also confirmed Tuesday’s statement was authentic.

Baloyi told TimesLIVE: “We realised that as messy as the situation was for the country, given the conflicting statements that have been coming out, it’s about time we put this thing to rest and work on the facts. The whereabouts of the mother are still unknown. In terms of the pregnancy, the reality of it was that the mother was pregnant. The family will be in consultation with the government to find the mother and make sure she comes back home and is safe.”

Pretoria News last week broke the story of the birth of the babies at a Pretoria hospital.

The family statement on Tuesday night said Tsotetsi had provided information to the publication since last year, and had confirmed the birth of the 10 babies based on the messages he had received from the mother.

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

“The matter remains very sensitive and worrying, especially with Gosiame Sithole’s whereabouts unknown, and we call on members of the public to stop donating money into any bank accounts for the decuplets,” the statement read.

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.