JOHANNESBURG (AP) – South Africa has been gripped by the mystery of whether a woman has, as has been claimed, given birth to 10 babies, in what would then be the world’s first recorded case of tenfold.
Gosiame Thamara Sithole of Tembisa Township near Johannesburg gave birth to the babies on Monday, according to the Pretoria News newspaper which quotes the parents. The babies – seven boys and three girls – have not made a public appearance or been filmed, although they were born prematurely, the newspaper reported.
The South African government has said it is still trying to verify this claim.
This has led South Africans to obsess over social media whether the “Tembisa 10” story is really true.
The father, Teboho Tsotetsi, told the newspaper his wife gave birth in a hospital in the capital Pretoria. He said it was a big surprise to parents after doctors detected just eight babies during prenatal tests.
“It’s seven boys and three girls. She was seven months and seven days pregnant. I am happy. I am emotional, ”the newspaper quoted Tsotetsi.
The couple already have 6-year-old twins, which would make a total of a dozen children, if the claim is true.
South Africans are eagerly awaiting proof of what would be a world record. The couple’s relatives and neighbors have insisted the news is true.
“For her to receive 10 blessings at any given time, we thank God for it,” Wilson Machaya, a family neighbor in Tembisa, told The Associated Press. “And because we are neighbors, we will have to help in any way we can.”
A Malian woman gave birth to nine babies last month alone in Morocco, in what has been hailed as the world’s first case of non-tuples.
South Africa’s Gauteng Province Social Development Department has confirmed Sithole’s whereabouts and spokeswoman Feziwe Ndwayana said they will make an announcement after meeting the family. Another local government department said earlier this week that it had no records of the births of babies at any of the hospitals in the province.
The Pretoria News first revealed the story with an interview with Sithole and her husband Tsotetsi at their home, which took place almost a month ago and when they were believed to have eight babies. They demanded that the story not be published until after the babies were born for reasons of safety and culture, the newspaper said.
According to the report, Sithole took earlier than scheduled time off from her job as a retail store manager because she could no longer cope. Tsotetsi is unemployed.
An organization has given the couple $ 70,000 to help and other South Africans are being encouraged to donate.
Along with # Tembisa10, the term #NationalBabyShower is trending on Twitter.
AP reporter Nqobile Ntshangase contributed.