The drama of the “Thembisa 10" babies will once again play out in the public domain when Independent Media releases its investigation into its reporting on the saga.
In June this year, Pretoria News editor Piet Rampedi wrote the first article about the decuplets, but the story was quickly criticised and shot down from various quarters — including the national and Gauteng health departments — for being untrue.
In the wake of this, the media house said it would investigate its reporting into the matter. Now, On Wednesday this week, Independent Media will release the findings of the highly anticipated investigations into what really happened with the ‘decuplets’ and their story.
The news of Gosiame Sithole’s ten babies has travelled to the farthest reaches of the globe. Initially welcomed and received as a much-needed good news story, amidst the omnipresent COVID pandemic, the story soon took a very different turn. Although initially confirming the birth of the babies, role-players in the ensuing drama, including South African authorities, did an abrupt about turn and declared the news as “fake.” Two voices have remained strong and consistent throughout – Gosiame herself and Piet Rampedi, who to this day, stands by his story that Gosiame was pregnant.
But someone’s word is not enough in the era of misinformation, disinformation and the competitive battle for eyeballs and audience numbers. Evidence is required.
Independent Media’s reputation has taken a beating over this story. There’s no denying this. But, as it has done for over a century of integrity and breaking stories, when it is wrong, it admits and makes reparation.
However, in order to determine the truth, and therefore whether reparation is required, investigations are needed. In this case, there have been several concurrent fact finding missions – internally by the editor, the office of Independent Media’s Press Ombudsman, Independent Media’s investigation division, and an independent external investigation, chaired by Advocate Michael Donen.
What they have discovered is nothing short of explosive.
On Wednesday 27th October, a press conference will be held at Newspaper House in Cape Town. Here the truth will be revealed.