Tembisa 10: No evidence of human trafficking, says Gauteng govt
Independent Media has now claimed that the 10 babies Gosiame Sithole gave birth to at the Tembisa Hospital in June were trafficked.
CAPE TOWN - The Gauteng government said that it would not stand by while baseless allegations were made against hospital staff by Independent Media.
In June this year, Pretoria News published a story about a Gauteng woman giving birth to decuplets but no evidence was provided of the births.
Independent Media, which owns Pretoria News, has now claimed that the 10 babies were trafficked after Gosiame Sithole gave birth at the Tembisa Hospital in June.
The media house has alleged that hospital staff and others helped syndicates to human traffic the babies.
• Tembisa 10: Gauteng govt to take legal action against Independent Media
• Tembisa 10 report: Gosiame Sithole had a C-section, two of the babies died
• 'There are no decuplets' – Family of 'father' Tebogo Tsotetsi issue statement
• Decuplets: Editor Piet Rampedi says sorry, but insists there was a pregnancy
The media house released its findings of an internal investigation into the story, which came under fire after there was no evidence that the babies actually existed.
The Gauteng government has confirmed that it was now taking legal action against Independent Media.
To date, there has been no evidence that the babies exist, with a Gauteng hospital and Home Affairs saying that there was no record of the births.
The story made global headlines but turned from a feel-good story to an investigation.
Independent Media said that it would release a video series, that would go live in the next two weeks, proving its claims.
Chairperson Iqbal Surve: "You'd have to watch the series, read the series in print to get the full details of each and every person involved. We're not going to hesitate in publishing the names, I can tell you that."
He was asked: So where are the babies?
"The government has to answer one question to all of us: Where are the babies right now? Let me put it differently: What has happened to them right now?"
The Gauteng government said that it was now turning to the courts, refuting the allegations and claims made by Independent Media.
The Gauteng premier's spokesperson, Vuyo Mhaga, said that there was no evidence of any human trafficking.
"We want to put it on record that the Gauteng government has taken legal action. The provincial government will not standby while serious allegations are made against nurses, doctors and healthcare management," Mhaga said.
Meanwhile, the national Health Department said that it was outraged by the damning and unsubstantiated allegations from Independent Media and that it supported the decision taken by the Gauteng provincial government to take action against the newspaper group.