reporter who broke story of south africa's 10 babies narrative apologizes after it turned out to be untrue
PIET RAMPEDI AND GOSIAME SITHOLE
byJune 28, 2021
Piet Rampedi the journalist that broke the story of a mum giving birth to 10 babies has apologised after it turned out to be untrue.Pretoria News editor said he was "full of sadness and regret" over the scoop which, he said, damaged Independent Media’s reputation.
The mother Gosiame Sithole, 37, hit headlines around the world following reports she had "given birth to 10 babies at a Pretoria hospital".On the birth of 10 Babies, doubts however arises when medics had no record of the birth and Pretoria News did not have any evidence that the children actually existed.
The journalist said he is convinced the woman was pregnant and gave birth - just not to 10 babies.
Mr Rampedi wrote a letter to the editor-in-chief of the group which owns his newspaper, saying: "Let me start by stating from the onset that I stand by the fact that Gosiame Sithole was pregnant, and that she did give birth. I don’t doubt it and never have.
"Be that as it may, I am sorry for the reputational damage the aftermath of the story has caused for the group, the company and my colleagues in general."
"I never demanded documentary proof of the pregnancy, such as scanners and clinic cards, for instance, as I would normally do with an investigative story. There was nothing to investigate, I thought."
"To be blunt, the story provided detractors with an opportunity to cast aspersions on the professional integrity of not only myself, but also my colleagues in the group.
"For that, I am extremely sorry. It was unfortunate.
"And I would like to apologise to you, my colleagues and the group."
Medical tests have shown that Ms Sithole had not been pregnant recently and the reason behind the fabrication of the story has not been given.Ms Sithole has since been admitted to a psychiatric ward after being found at a relative's house on June 17 and is now being held under the mental health act for observation and will be provided with support.