Tembisa 10: Gauteng govt is continuing its intention to sue Independent Media

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • The Gauteng government says it is still pursuing legal action against Independent Media over the so-called "Tembisa 10".  
  • The media group has maintained the babies were born at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital last year. 
  • It claimed the children were trafficked in an elaborate scheme, which included doctors and nurses. 

Independent Media is doubling down on claims that the Tembisa decuplets are real, but the Gauteng government says it is still pursuing a case against the company.

Last year, the media house published a story that a Tembisa woman, Gosiame Sithole, gave birth to 10 babies. It claimed the children were born at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.  

But the Gauteng government and several other private hospitals said there was no evidence of the birth.

An independent, external investigation later found that Pretoria News editor Piet Rampedi was "reckless" to publish the story that Sithole had given birth, finding that he had breached Independent Media's code of conduct.

READ | Independent Media internal ombud brands story as 'hoax', wants titles to publish apology

Despite this, the company continued with claims that the alleged babies were trafficked in an elaborate scheme, which included state institutions, nurses, doctors and other health officials.

In October last year, the company released a six-part documentary to push the trafficking narrative.

On Wednesday, the Pretoria News ran a front-page article, in which it named an obstetrician "believed to have been involved in the delivery". 

The paper reported that the doctor operated in Ekurhuleni and was involved in the delivery at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital. The doctor told the newspaper he had no idea what it was talking about.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa has confirmed the doctor is registered with the body. 

Gauteng government spokesperson Thabo Masebe said on Wednesday that they are still pursuing legal action against the company. 

Masebe said: "The state attorney is dealing with the matter. A senior counsel has been briefed and is attending to the matter."

Last year, the provincial government said: "The provincial government cannot stand by while serious allegations are made against nurses, doctors, hospital management and health officials.

These are women and men of integrity, who are working selflessly and honestly every day to save lives and, at times, even risking their own lives.

"The government is duty bound to protect the integrity of all government officials as well as that of public institutions."

We want to hear your views on the news. Subscribe to News24 to be part of the conversation in the comments section of this article.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 2611 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
51% - 12691 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
35% - 8555 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 850 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.