Independent Media has said that the #Tembisa10, the first-ever decuplets born, can confirm that the babies are real, and said it stood by its stories published in both print and online publications.
IOL reported that authorities including the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) and other media, have focused all their attention on discrediting Mr Rampedi (editor of Pretoria News) and Independent Media. “In so doing, they have unquestionably supported what appears to be a cover-up of mammoth proportions,” the publication reported.
The media organisation published on June 16 that it had launched a private investigation into the birth of the 10 babies, and that they know the following facts to be true:
1. Gosiame Thamara Sithole was admitted to Steve Biko Academic Hospital on Monday, June 7, 2021.
2. She was admitted late in the morning and taken to the maternity ward.
3. At 6pm or thereabouts, a group of four doctors and two nurses attended to Sithole.
4. Sithole gave birth to five babies via vaginal delivery. Doctors then proceeded to do a Caesarian section and delivered the remaining five babies.
5. Independent Media can confirm that Sithole was at Steve Biko Academic Hospital from June 7 until Friday June 11.
6. Independent Media can confirm that Sithole was transferred to the lodgers’ section on Thursday. She was not provided with food except for bread and tea in the mornings. She was provided with no medical or psychological assistance.
“This information is corroborated by several independent sources, including staff at Steve Biko Academic Hospital,” Independent Media said.
“Considering our findings, Independent Media calls for an urgent investigation into the actions and statements of the CEO of Steve Biko Academic Hospital Dr Mathebula; the Gauteng Provincial government, and the Gauteng Health MEC, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi with respect to the birth of the decuplets.
“We would like answers from Dr Mathebula, Gauteng Premier Mr David Makhura and Ms Mokgethi”.
Various news agencies have released articles questioning the integrity of journalism after the debacle took the country by storm.
— Mkhululi X (@M_X_K_1) June 16, 2021
— Barbara Botha (@BarbaraBothaBB) June 16, 2021
Independent Media responded by saying they are “disappointed that other media have so willingly believed the statements issued by the [Department of Health], without so much as interrogating the facts around the story. The conduct of the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) in particular, shows complicity in what looks to be a major cover-up”.