The South African journalist who reported the story of Gosiame Sithole, the woman who claimed to have given birth to 10 babies, is apologizing for not doing a better job—but somehow still insists the decuplets exist. “Even though I stand by the fact that Sithole was pregnant, some aspects of the story could have been dealt with differently. Could I have handled the story much better? Definitely! Especially the verification process,” Piet Rampedi, editor of the Pretoria News, wrote to his boss and colleagues, according to The South African. “Quite honestly, I never treated the decuplets story as an investigation at all. I used no investigative tool or checklist.”
Rampedi’s half-baked mea culpa came as the provincial government said it plans to take legal action against him and his newspaper’s parent company, Independent News, for accusing officials and hospitals of a coverup. The Gauteng government said Sithole’s reputed pregnancy and delivery—which made headlines around the globe—has been determined to be a fiction. Sithole remains in a psychiatric ward; her attorney claims she is being held against her will.