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Last week, a woman in South Africa claimed to have broken a world record by giving birth to a stunning 10 babies at once. Now, the alleged father and his family doubt they even exist.
Tebogo Tsotetsi, the boyfriend of mother Gosiame Sithole, released a statement Tuesday saying that, due to his inability to reach Sithole and verify her claims, he believes she didn’t give birth to 10 babies.
“The current uncertainties and public discourse about the decuplets is of major concern to the family,” the statement read, “especially in the absence of any proof of the decuplets existence other than telephonic and whatsapp messages from the mother.”
Earlier, Tsotetsi had asked people to stop donating money to both of them because Sithole won’t disclose where the children are.
In statements to Pretoria News, a local outlet in South Africa, Tsotetsi said the last time he saw Sithole was June 7, just before she was transported to Mediclinic Medforum Hospital with pains.
He received a WhatsApp text from her the next day letting him know she had given birth—with the help of four doctors, two gynecologists, and five nurses—to seven boys and three girls after 29 weeks of pregnancy.
But she followed that information up with a notice: He could not come to see them, as the hospital wasn’t allowing visitors due to COVID-19.
“I subsequently insisted that, as a father, I would like to come to the hospital to see our newly born children,” Tsotetsi said in his statement.
But that didn’t happen. Sithole told Tsotetsi that she was transferred to Steve Biko Academic Hospital for postnatal care and that she, too, had not seen the babies.
However, in statements to local media outlets, doctors from Mediclinic and Steve Biko said they did not deliver the babies and Sithole had not been treated there.
“We can confirm that none of our facilities were involved in the obstetric care of this patient or her decuplets,” a Mediclinic spokesperson told The Sunday Times.
The CEO of Steve Biko, Matabo Mathebula, called into The Clement Manyathela Show and said Sithole showed up to the medical center in regular clothes—sans children—and said she had given birth at Louis Pasteur Hospital. But a spokesperson for Louis Pasteur told the show Sithole had never been treated there.
Tsotetsi said that since Sithole hadn’t been seen in days, a missing persons case had been opened by his family. Fearing he would be the prime suspect if something had happened to her, Tsotetsi said he went to a lawyer’s office, where he wrote a message to Sithole asking for her location and for a picture of the babies.
“I really needed to see you but my priority is our safety,” he wrote in his message, according to his statement.
Sithole then sent him the address for Steve Biko hospital. She told him the babies were sent to an intensive care unit due to their premature birth, while Sithole was going to see a psychologist for counseling.
Tsotetsi said he made multiple efforts to reach the hospitals, but couldn’t visit Sithole or the babies. He said in his statement that he wants to know her location and a photo of all 10 babies. So far, she’s only sent him a picture of one child.
Since the birth, the only time Tsotetsi said he’s seen Sithole is from a selfie she sent him Friday. In that photo, she’s covered in a black-and-white, snowflake-patterned robe. She was not holding a child.