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Did a South African Woman Really Give Birth to Record 10 Babies During Delivery?

Representative image.

Representative image.

Medical tests have revealed that the woman had not even been pregnant recently.

Earlier this month, an incident came to light from South Africa where a 37-year-old woman has claimed to have given birth to 10 babies, including seven boys and three girls. However, an official inquiry has found that the claim is not true. According to BBC, medical tests have revealed that Sithole had not even been pregnant recently and the 37-year-old is currently held under the mental health act for observation and will be provided with support.

Independent Online, a media group that owns the Pretoria News that first reported the story alleged that Sithole had in fact given birth to the babies on 7 June at Steve Biko Academic Hospital (SBAH) in the capital, Pretoria. It also accused that the staff was ill-prepared and that both the hospital and provincial health authorities tried to cover up medical negligence.

Sithole and her partner Teboho Tsotetsi lived in Thembisa and had six-year-old twins. Pretoria News on 8 June announced the birth of the 10 babies. Earlier a photo had appeared where Sithole looked heavily pregnant. A local mayor too had confirmed the news following which, news outlets published the story. It was, however, later revealed that the mayor had confirmed the birth only on the basis of the family’s word and no one had yet seen the babies.

The babies were dubbed as the “Thembisa 10" and soon, donations began to come in for them and their parents that included a 1m rand ($70,000; £50,000) from IOL chairman Iqbal Survé.


With Pretoria News failing to disclose the hospital where the babies were born, people started growing suspicious while some hospitals in Gauteng started denying any role in the story when their names were involved.

Gauteng provincial authorities told BBC that social workers were able to track Sithole and she was admitted to hospital for tests last Friday.

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first published:June 25, 2021, 07:30 IST