The South African health department said on Friday night that a woman’s claim she birthed 10 babies simply “cannot be.” The national agency broke its silence on the bizarre mystery to say it investigated the story of Gosiame Sithole and allegations by the newspaper that first reported the story. “Clinicians at both the Steve Biko Academic Hospital and Tshwane District Hospital have confirmed that there is no record of delivery of the decuplets in any of the public health facilities in Gauteng,” the statement said. “It cannot be that 10 or 8 babies are born and that no evidence of their whereabouts or existence can be established.”
Independent Media, which owns the paper that broke the apparent fiction, has insisted the babies were born and that South African health officials are denying it to cover up medical neglect. However, even the would-be father of the babies says he believes it’s a hoax. “Given the magnitude of the allegations, we invite Independent Media, which has insinuated wrongdoing on the part of health professionals and government, to assist Ms. Sithole to pursue a complaint with the health ombudsman for the alleged mistreatment of the patient at any health facility,” the health department said, apparently challenging the paper and Sithole to prove the babies were born or drop it.