A South African woman’s story of giving birth to 10 babies at once was a hoax, government officials say

Women walk outside the home of Gosiame Sithole
The home of Gosiame Sithole, who falsely claimed she had given birth to 10 children. Associated Press
  • A South African woman who claimed to give birth to 10 babies at once made the story up, government officials said.
  • None of the hospitals in the Gauteng province of South Africa have any record of decuplets being born.
  • The government said it was determined that 37-year-old Gosiame Sithole was not even pregnant recently.
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A South African woman who recently made headlines after claiming that she gave birth to a record-breaking 10 babies at once made the news up, a local government found.

None of the hospitals in the Gauteng province of South Africa have any record of decuplets being born, the Gauteng Provinical Government said in a statement.

Additionally, the government said that doctors found 37-year-old Gosiame Sithole was not even pregnant recently.

Sithole was taken to a Tembisa hospital on June 18 “and various medical tests were conducted on her to determine her state of health,” the government said.

She was initially slated to be kept at the hospital for 72 hours, but doctors later recommended that she be kept there for another seven days “for further observation, in accordance with the Mental Healthcare Act,” the government said.

A lawyer for Sithole has claimed that his client is being held “being held against her will.”

“She declined that she should be taken to the Tembisa Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation because she felt strongly that she is of sound mind,” lawyer Refiloe Mokoena told South African news site Independent Online, which first reported on the birth story.

Independent Online has said that the news organization stands by its original reporting on the story, claiming that the government’s accusations of a hoax are part of “a cover-up of mammoth proportions by Gauteng Health authorities.”

Independent Online initially reported that Sithole gave birth to the set of decuplets at a hospital in Pretoria on June 7.

Sithole’s partner Teboho Tsotetsi was quoted by the site at the time saying, “It’s seven boys and three girls. She was seven months and seven days pregnant. I am happy. I am emotional.”

The government said that the news outlet’s claims that it was trying to “cover up medical negligence” are “false, unsubstantiated and only serve to tarnish the good reputation of Steve Biko Academic Hospital and the Gauteng Provincial Government.”

The provincial government said it has instructed the state attorney to take legal action against the news site that published the story.