Wed 09 June 2021:
Government has noted media reports and social media posts alleging that a South African woman has given birth to 10 babies and reportedly broken the world record.
The posts attribute the birth of the babies to Gosiame Thamara Sithole from Gauteng.
Government Communciation and Information (GCIS) Director-General Phumla Williams in a statement said government has been unable to verify the authenticity of this birth at its facilities.
“We need to verify this story and provide assistance where needed,” said Williams.
Gosiame Thamara Sithole, 37, gave birth to her decuplets – two more than doctors had earlier detected during the medical scans – at a hospital in Pretoria, Monday night, said her husband Teboho Tsotetsi.
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He said Sithole, who hails from Tembisa Township in Ekurhuleni, delivered her seven boys and three girls by Caesarean section.
Speaking to the Pretoria News Monday night, Tsotetsi said Sithole gave birth to their bundles of joy 29 weeks into her pregnancy.
“It’s seven boys and three girls. She was seven months and seven days pregnant. I am happy. I am emotional. I can’t talk much. Let’s talk again in the morning please,” Tsotetsi said.
“I am shocked by my pregnancy. It was tough at the beginning. I was sick. It was hard for me. It’s still tough but I am used to it now. I don’t feel the pain anymore, but it’s still a bit tough. I just pray for God to help me deliver all my children in a healthy condition, and for me and my children to come out alive. I would be pleased about it,” Sithole said.
The retail store manager said she was initially dubious when the doctors told her she was pregnant with octuplets.
Sithole has broken the record of the most children born at the same birth held by Cissé, who gave birth to nine children (nonuplets) at a hospital in Morocco last month.
Before Cissé, the record holder of the most children delivered at a single birth to survive was reportedly American Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to eight children in 2009. Her octuplets were conceived through in vitro fertilisation.
Appeals for help
Sithole, who already has twins, said she had exhausted her savings after taking unpaid leave two months into her pregnancy earlier this year. “I was sick. I left my job early and decided to stay at home because I couldn’t cope. I realised I was battling and decided to quit earlier than expected because my body couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to stay at home until I started feeling better,” Sithole said.
“I appeal to the public to help me in whatever way they can. Anybody who has anything I would appreciate it. I am relying on my mother-in-law now. She is old, lives on her old age pension and has grandchildren. I will also need people who can volunteer to help me raise the children – helpers,” Sithole added.
The unemployed father, Tsotetsi, said his wife delivered the decuplets – both naturally and by caesarean section – 29 weeks into her pregnancy on Monday night. Tsotetsi said his wife was still in hospital. “It’s seven boys and three girls. She was seven months and seven days pregnant. I am happy. I am emotional. I can’t talk much. Let’s talk again in the morning please,” Tsotetsi said.
Photo: Gosiame Thamara Sithole who gave birth to 10 children and her husband Tebogo Tsotetsi, from Tembisa Township in Ekurhuleni. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)
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