- In an email to the Independent Media Group, journalist Piet Rampedi has apologised for the Thembisa 10 story and aftermath
- The National Department of Health maintains that Gosime Sithole did not give birth to 10 babies
- Rampedi, however, still insists that Sithole was pregnant and that she did give birth earlier this month
Pretoria News editor Piet Rampedi has written an apology to Independent Media group editor-in-chief Aneez Salie in regards to the Thembisa 10 that broke this earlier month.
In an email, Rampedi expressed he could have handled the story better, however, he insists that there was a pregnancy and Gosiame Sithole gave birth, according to EWN.
Rampedi had reported that Gosiame Sithole had given birth to 10 babies and had subsequently broken a Guinness World Record.
The story initially touched the hearts of South Africans and the world at large, however, the National Department of Health said there was no record that the babies were born.
The department still maintains that there is no record of decuplets being born in Gauteng and Sithole was admitted into a psychiatric hospital for evaluation last week.
In his email, Rampedi apologised for the reputational damage caused by the aftermath of the story. He added that he was aware that the general response to the story put his colleagues under public scrutiny, according to News 24.
Rampedi added that some aspects of the story could have been handled differently.
“Could I have handled the story much better? Definitely! Especially the verification process. Quite honestly, I never treated the decuplets story as an investigation at all. I used no investigative tool or checklist,” he said.
The Tsotetsi family releases a statement saying there are no babies
Briefly News previously reported that Tsotetsi said there were no decuplets born between Tebogo and the mother, Gosiame Sithole. They said until proven otherwise they would like to apologise for the inconvenience and embarrassment caused.
Contradictory to the Tsotetsi family statement, Rampedi shared a video by the alleged mother. In the clip, which was filmed from an undisclosed location, she reacted to the Tsotetsi family's statement by slamming reports that she is missing.
Sithole also insisted that she did give birth to the 10 babies at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital. However, TimesLIVE reported on Tuesday that CEO of Pretoria's Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Dr Mathabo Mathebula, said that Sithole and the babies were not admitted there.
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Source: Briefly News