The editor of Pretoria News, Piet Rampedi, reached out to employees with a written apology to address the backlash regarding the “Tembisa 10” saga earlier today, June23.
However, the Gauteng government is planning to sue Pretoria News editor Piet Rampedi and Independent Media over the entire episode, reports News24.
“We want them to retract the unfortunate allegations made against the government,” spokesperson Thabo Masebe told News24.
“They alleged that there was a cover-up by the provincial government involving the premier, the MEC and the chief executive of Steve Biko [Academic Hospital],” Masebe continued.
“We are demanding that they retract their statement and apologise.”
It has been reported that if Independent Media belonged to Press Council, it would have taken that route instead. As it does not, the Gauteng provincial government instructed the State Attorney to institute legal action against Rampedi and Independent Media.
“The Gauteng provincial government is deeply concerned by the conduct of Independent Media, particularly the editor of the Pretoria News, Mr Piet Rampedi,” he added.
News that Gosiame Sithole gave birth to decuplets on 7 June 2021 is not supported by any evidence. The government subsequently said none of the hospitals in the province – public and private – had any record of such births.
Following her admission to Tembisa Hospital on June 18 for psychological evaluation, it was confirmed that she had never been pregnant.
“It has now been established by medical practitioners that Ms Sithole did not give birth to any babies in recent times. It has also been established that she was not pregnant in recent times,” Masebe said.
Sithole has been kept in hospital, in accordance with the Mental Health Care Act, for an additional 11 days, as apposed to the initial 72-hour admission.