News of Gosiame Sithole delivering 10 babies at a Pretoria hospital may have grabbed headlines all over the world, but also sparked questions over its authenticity.
The South African woman reportedly gave birth to 10 babies, seven boys and three girls, which led to public appeals from the South African government for information about the mother and her children after it failed to find medical records at hospitals, both public and private
But for now there is a new twist in the story. Another woman Sibongile Gxekwa, 47, has approached News24 claiming that the babies’ father, Teboho Tsotetsi, is her husband.
She told the South African publication that Tsotetsi started seeing Sithole behind her back in 2020.
“He even went as far as going out almost every evening and returned in the wee hours of the morning,” said Gxekwa.
“When he started his escapades of going out at night, I confronted him about the cheating. I told him that the person he was seeing was either staying alone or residing with her parents. At the time, I didn’t know who she was.”
Gxekwa said: “He ultimately impregnated her. I recently learnt that she was pregnant with eight children. She also has other children, including triplets, apart from the twins the media has reported about. My husband even asked for prayers from his church for his girlfriend to give birth to healthy children.
Once it was announced that Sithole was pregnant, the Tsotetsi family turned against Gxekwa, she said.
Gxekwa said she was told that the decuplets were in incubators at a hospital in Pretoria.
“He has not told me anything about his new 10 children. He promised that we would talk about his new children upon his return from Cape Town on Wednesday. He has ordered me not to speak to the media about this matter. He has threatened to chase me away from our marital home.”
While Gxekwa lives in their marital home in Tembisa, Sithole moved in with Tsotetsi’s mother in Lifateng section, Tembisa.
Tsotetsi lives between the two houses, Gxekwa claims.
I dated my husband when I was 15 years old. In 2006, he completed his lobola for me. Since the news broke, I have not been feeling well. This entire situation has depressed me. We are both unemployed. My children and I survive on the money we receive from my parents.
Both a relative and a friend confirmed to News24 that Gxekwa and Tsotetsi were married traditionally.
Sithole has broken the record of the most children born at the same birth, previously held by Malian Halima Cissé, who delivered nonuplets last month in Morocco.
Before Cissé, the record holder of the most children delivered at a single birth – and they survived – was reportedly American Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to eight children in 2009. Her octuplets were conceived through in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
Deputy head of the school of medicine at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) Professor Dini Mawela said Sithole’s kind of pregnancy was rare and usually caused by fertility treatments. The children will spend the next months in incubators because it was a “high-risk” pregnancy, she added.
“It’s a unique situation,” Mawela said