Gosiame Thamara Sithole is a 37-year-old from South Africa who has done what most women would consider impossible. She has allegedly given birth to decuplets at a hospital in the city of Pretoria on June 7.
So far as I can tell, she is the only person to ever do so. At least on Wikipedia, she is the only person listed. The world record was held by Malian Halima Cissé who gave birth to nine children in Morocco in May 2021.
When Gosiame saw her doctors earlier in the pregnancy they had only detected 8 babies during her medical scans. The new mom, who hails from Tembisa Township in Ekurhuleni, delivered her seven boys and three girls by Caesarean section on June 7, 2021.
Thamara's husband Teboho Tsotetsi spoke with IOL News was quoted saying: “She was seven months and seven days pregnant. I am happy. I am emotional. I can’t talk much. Let’s talk again in the morning please". The couple, who already have six-year-old twins, previously told the Pretoria News that her pregnancy was natural as she was not on fertility treatment.
Just bumped into the Peoples Editor Piet Rampedi and Ntate Teboho Tsotetsi the father of our 10 bundles of joy!✊🏾✊🏾— Dali Mpofu (@AdvDali_Mpofu) June 9, 2021
Ayeye ThumaMinaMediaGroup!😜😜🍼🍼🍼🍼🍼🍼🍼🍼🍼🍼 pic.twitter.com/CrKKk5MfmW
Following the exciting news, things took a turn. We saw the joyous father, but where were the mother and the babies?
Sibongile Gxekwa. a 47-year-old woman came forward alleging that Teboho Tsotetsi is her husband and that he cheated on her with Gosiame and then moved his lover into his mum's home.
She told News24: "When he started his escapades of going out at night, I confronted him about the cheating... At the time, I didn’t know who she was. He has not told me anything about his new 10 children. He has ordered me to not speak to the media about this matter."
Subsequently, the South African government said it could not track down Gosiame.
Local officials then said they had found her, but could not trace which hospital had recorded the birth.
South Africans are eagerly waiting for proof of what would be a world record. Relatives and neighbors of the couple have insisted the news is true.
"For her to receive 10 blessings at one given time, we thank God for that," Wilson Machaya, a neighbour of the family in Tembisa, told The Associated Press. "And because we are neighbours we will have to assist in any way possible."
Now the Gauteng social development department says the mother of the "Tembisa 10" has contacted them after a missing person's case was opened.
"The Gauteng Department of Social Development wishes to confirm that the mother of the decuplets is not missing," it said in a statement on Friday afternoon.
Speaking to TimesLIVE, the children's aunt said at the family home: “The babies were born and are still in incubators fighting for their lives. They came at 29 weeks; the mother is still weak. And as a black family, we want to protect them. This is a sensitive issue.”
She said Sithole was in high spirits and was healing at the hospital.
At the moment, no pictures of the babies have been sent to the family as the mother cannot go into the NICU with a cellphone, she said.