Decumom Gosiame Thamara Sithole was admitted to a psychiatric ward after officials claim the woman’s story about giving birth to 10 babies is fake. Sithole, who made headlines for supposedly being the first decumom in history, is being held against her will and will undergo psychiatric evaluation following what many now consider a made-up story.
The decumom was arrested near Johannesburg last Thursday, after a government-led investigation into the alleged June 7 birth of 10 babies. Her estranged partner, Teboho Tsotetsi, who was pictured with the decumom days before the supposed birth, reported her missing. Days later, she was taken to a police station in Chloorkop, though it isn’t clear what the charges were.
The story, which made headlines in early June, claimed that Gosiame Thamara Sithole had been the first woman in known history to give birth to decuplets, or 10 babies at once. What is now being deemed an insane, made-up story was first reported by a reporter for IOL, which purported that the story was real, regardless of a lack of evidence. Even now, despite no proof that the babies exist, IOL claims decumom is real.
According to the National Department of Health in South Africa, the story was made up. A thorough investigation into the incident has found zero evidence to support the story, and the department claims the children never existed.
IOL, however, still insists the story is real. In a recent report, the news outlet claimed that Gosiame Sithole will apply for an urgent court interdict, forcing the Gauteng Department of Social Development to release her from custody. The decumom is currently being held for a mandatory psychological assessment.
Decumom’s lawyer, Refiloe Mokoena, said that two weeks after Sithole reportedly gave birth to 10 babies at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, she was taken into custody by police and handed over to the Department of Social Development. Mokoena claims it was all done against Sithole’s will, and that the department denied her legal access and permission to be evaluated by private psychologists alongside the ones appointed.
According to Sithole’s lawyer, Decumom “declined that she should be taken to the Tembisa Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation because she felt strongly that she is of sound mind. She then instructed me to accompany her to the Tembisa Hospital. And when we arrived at the hospital, they took her straight to Ward 14, the psychiatric ward. They told me that now she was in their custody, they would not be allowing the lawyers and the team of psychologists that she had requested to be present.”
Mokoena was then instructed by her client to move an urgent court order for her immediate release, but it is unclear whether Sithole is still in custody against her will. It was also reported by IOL that Sithole was subjected to “mental torture” and “starvation” while in the hospital, though that information has not been corroborated.
While in custody, police refrained from indicating a charge, claiming that the decumom was not in violation of any laws, but continued to hold her anyway. Sithole claimed that her estranged husband’s family was taking donations from the public, which were meant to support the newborn babies. Those babies, however, have still not been located, and Gosiame Thamara Sithole has been held for nearly a week. She has not given any concrete information on their whereabouts.
The story, which became a trending topic across social media at the beginning of June, is likely a bizarre made-up story, whether for media attention or financial support. The South African government claims that Sithole was never pregnant. After searching through hospital records and finding no evidence of the babies’ birth, the government is convinced the story was fake.