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Report confirms Tembisa 10 mom was pregnant, had recent Caesarean section

Dr Iqbal Surve addressing the media at press conference by Independent Media regarding the decuplets baby debacle. Photo: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Dr Iqbal Surve addressing the media at press conference by Independent Media regarding the decuplets baby debacle. Photo: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Published Oct 27, 2021


Moliehi Maria Sithole, the mother of the decuplets, was indeed pregnant and underwent a recent Caesarean section. This was confirmed by medical practitioner Dr Mpho Pooe at a press conference called by Independent Media on Wednesday.

At the briefing, the media group presented key findings from some of the concurrent investigations it had instituted into the saga of the missing decuplets and the subsequent treatment of Sithole, including an investigation conducted by Advocate Michael Donen.

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In June this year, Independent Media exclusively broke the story of the record-breaking 'Tembisa Ten' births. What began as a good news story, however, was dismissed as fake news in some quarters amid reports of a cover-up by health authorities and government.

On Wednesday, Independent Media executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé was part of the panel, which included Pooe and Donen that presented the findings to the media and public revealed the sensational findings of their investigation.

Some of the outcomes of the investigations have revealed and confirmed:

-Ms Sithole was pregnant and had a recent Caesarean section.

- Sithole was admitted to Steve Biko Academic Hospital, as well as taken to a private hospital (Lenmed Zamokuhle Private Hospital) and subsequently to Tembisa Hospital.

– Independent Media also confirmed that the backwards and forwards of the newborn infants between these hospitals as well as Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital did take place.

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-Doctors and nurses in the private and public sectors are unequivocally complicit in the delivery and subsequent cover-up of the birth of the babies.

-There has been gross medical negligence in that not sufficient doctors were present for these multiple births, with only four doctors in attendance.

- No incubators were supplied, and further that there was a misdiagnosis during Sithole’s surgery.

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- All physical and electronic records of this pregnancy and previous medical history of Sithole was removed.

Pooe said she had had sight of and is in possession of a letter from a doctor referring to her high-risk multiple pregnancy and motivating for Sithole to be booked off work.

Sithole’s questionable detainment in a mental institution

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According to the outcomes of the investigation, Sithole’s detention and the invoking of the Mental Healthcare Act sprung several breaches of procedure and ethics by the various Departments of Health, social workers and medical personnel concerned.

Advocate Michael Donen and Dr Pooe concurred that one of these was the fact that no collateral history was provided by the people close to her, such as members of her family, relatives, neighbours, or people she lived with.

Human Trafficking

Advocate Michael Donen, the chairperson of the independent inquiry into the story, revealed in his report several disturbing contradictions and concerns, which suggested that human trafficking was involved in the Sithole saga. Consequently, Independent Media launched a detailed investigation – including the deployment of (perhaps) deep cover operatives – to uncover a syndicate of human traffickers central to whom are several obstetricians and gynaecologists, operating in the private sector and using state hospitals – such as Steve Biko, Tembisa and Dr George Mukhari – to further their aims.

Donen also said alarm bells were ringing, with Ms Sithole having been denied access to her attorney, as well as the absence of an independent medical examination by an appropriately qualified independent medical practitioner, nor one by an independent psychiatrist.