- Teboho Tsotetsi, the father of the so-called Tembisa 10 decuplets, says he is stressed.
- He has reportedly filed a statement with the police.
- According to reports, Tsotetsi has also asked people to stop making donations.
The father of the infamous, but mysterious, decuplets known as the Tembisa 10, is "stressed and putting his things together".
This comes after Pretoria News editor Piet Rampedi seemed to backtrack from earlier reports that Tsotetsi's "wife", Gosiame Sithole, had given birth to "10 babies".
News24 reached out to Tsotetsi on Monday evening, following a report in the newspaper that called for donations to the family to be halted. It was also reported that he had made a statement to the police in support of a missing person's inquiry.
"Ahh Baba! Unfortunately, I cannot say anything at this stage, my brother," were the first words the father said over the phone.
But Tsotetsi seemed distracted during the telephone conversation and struggled to construct a full sentence when he was asked about the latest developments with Sithole and their children.
He also couldn't reply to questions about the statement he had reportedly made to police, and reiterated the comment he gave when the news of the birth broke - that full details would be in the Pretoria News.
After persistent questions, which Tsotetsi was also reluctant to answer, he eventually confirmed that he had filed a statement with the police, but would neither give any details, nor his reasons for giving the statement.
News24 could not reach Rampedi. He not only broke the story, but relatives referred to him as the Tsotetsi family spokesperson last week.
Sithole's family told News24 last week that a missing person's case had been opened at the Tembisa South police station.
But the Gauteng Department of Social Development was quick to release a statement later, saying that Sithole was not missing and had contacted its officials. It would not conduct further interviews until it was ready to do so.
News24 also reached out to Tembisa police spokesperson Manyadza Ralidhivha who had no knowledge of the statement.
Police declined to comment on the missing person's case, saying they could not verify the matter without a case number. This, despite the high-profile nature of the case.
According to the Pretoria News report, Tsotetsi told police he was concerned about Sithole's whereabouts and her safety. He claimed that she told him he was not allowed to see the babies because of Covid-19 regulations.
In addition, Tsotetsi also reportedly said in the statement that he had received a WhatsApp message from Sithole last week in which she told him she was at Mediclinic Medforum hospital.
The publication also reported that Sithole told him she had been moved to Steve Biko Academic Hospital last Friday.
But it quoted Tsotetsi saying that a lawyer told him he would be arrested if he went to see the children because, as the one who had seen them last, he was a suspect.
Mediclinic told News24 on Monday evening that it was still not aware of the birth of "10 babies" at its facilities, and last week, the group distanced itself from the obstetric care of Sithole and the decuplets.
When Pretoria News broke the story last week, it included a call for donations and bank account details were published, along with addresses for donation drop-offs.
The addresses included the offices of Independent Media (which owns Pretoria News), Pretoria News' own offices in Pretoria, and the Lesedi 7 Group in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg.
Less than 72 hours after his partner was said to have given birth, Tsotetsi and Rampedi travelled to Cape Town, where they met Independent Media chairperson Iqbal Survé.
The businessman made a commitment to give the couple R1 million over a period of time.
It's unclear how much money has been raised to date, or which donations have been received.
Search for the triplets
On Monday, News24 also published that the family of Sithole's former lover questioned the whereabouts of triplets she gave birth to prematurely in July 2018.
According to Sipho Mzolo, Sithole was one of his tenants when she met and fell in love with his cousin, Sifiso. Mzolo described Sithole as a "troublemaker" and said he had to get rid of her.
"When she left, she was pregnant with triplets from my cousin. She went to Steve Biko [Academic Hospital] to give birth and I went to go and see the babies. She refused to let Sifiso see the children," Mzolo said.
It is alleged that Sithole also refused to give Mzolo's family access to the children after her discharge from hospital.
Last week, Tsotetsi's wife Sibongile Gxekwa told News24 that she was heartbroken when she discovered that her husband had had an affair with Sithole.
She said his family turned against her when they found out "his girlfriend" was pregnant.