Woman who said she gave birth to 10 babies was not pregnant, inquiry finds
No hospitals in the area have any record of the babies being born.
The woman who claimed to have given birth to 10 babies had not been pregnant recently, an inquiry has found.
South African woman Gosiame Sithole said that she had given birth to decuplets earlier this month. Soon after the story broke Sithole was reported missing while her partner, Teboho Tsotetsi, said that he believed the pregnancy had been a hoax.
BBC News reports that the Gauteng province government has since confirmed that the story is not true.
A medical test confirmed that Sithole had not even been pregnant at the time, while no local hospitals had any records of the births.
"These allegations are false, unsubstantiated and only serve to tarnish the good reputation of Steve Biko Academic Hospital and the Gauteng Provincial Government," said a statement.
The 37-year-old, who is mother to twins, is currently being monitored under the Mental Health Act.
Word of the babies' births became global news after local publication Pretoria News, owned by Independent Online, first reported it to be true. The births were then "confirmed" by the local mayor despite no proof that the children existed.
Sithole had originally claimed that she thought she was pregnant with six babies and that four had been missed on scans. She said that the babies had been conceived naturally.
Partner Tsotetsi was later accused of trying to make money from the story as a GoFundMe had been set up for the couple soon after the "birth."
Tsotetsi denied these claims and said that he intended to have the fundraiser shut down.
"He (Tebego) made several attempts to visit his girlfriend, but she has failed to disclose her whereabouts and the condition of her babies," said a statement at the time.
"The current and uncertainties and public discourse about the decuplets is now of major concern to the family, especially in the absence of any proof of the decuplets existence other than telephonic and Whatsapp messages from the mother.
"The matter remains very sensitive and worrying, especially with Gosiame Sithole’s whereabouts unknown."