In June 2021, Pretoria News editor Piet Rampedi published a story that made headlines across the globe. He claimed that a South African woman, Gosiame Sithole, gave birth to a world record-breaking 10 babies. A government investigation eventually found that the ‘Tembisa 10’ were never born and that Sithole was not pregnant recently.
Rampedi issued an apology to Independent Media and his colleagues but he maintained that his remarkable story was true. Independent instituted an internal investigation into the matter and it will be made public on Wednesday, 27 October.
TEMBISA 10 REPORT TO BE MADE PUBLIC
At 19:00 on Monday, 25 October, Independent Media announced that it would hold a press conference – titled In Search of the Truth – Explosive Evidence of Wrongdoing to be Revealed in Decuplets Report – at its headquarters in Newspaper House, Cape Town on Wednesday.
Independent Media said the Tembisa 10 story was welcomed before being decried as fake news and admitted that its reputation has taken a knock for its “failure to conduct the necessary checks and balances.”
“Independent Media committed to several in-depth investigations regarding this story and to discovering the truth,” said the media house, adding that it has poured resources into the report for months and its findings are explosive.
Earlier this year, the Gauteng provincial government said it instructed the State Attorney general to take legal action against Piet Rampedi and Independent Media. This came after Independent Media alleged that the state was involved in a cover-up, which is why no trace of the decuplets could be found.
“We want them to retract the unfortunate allegations made against the government,” said provincial spokesperson Thabo Masebe.
The original Tembisa 10 story claimed that Sithole gave birth on 7 June 2021. She was later admitted to Tembisa Hospital on 18 June and after several medical tests, it was found that she did not give birth recently and had not been pregnant recently either.
Independent Media says the truth about the Tembisa 10 will be revealed at Newspaper House on Wednesday morning at 11:00.