Decuplets dad said he cried when he got the news adding, “people will see the babies at the right time”.
“I cried. I cried and walked around my house alone – up and down,” Tebogo Tsotetsi, the father of South Africa’s miracle decuplets, said remembering how he felt when he heard the news.
On Monday, Tsotetsi’s wife Gosiame Thamara Sithole, 37, gave birth to their decuplets at a hospital in Pretoria.
Tsotetsi was in Cape Town on Wednesday and spoke about the overwhelming support they had received since the news broke of the Guinness World Record birth.
“There’s not many words I have to express how I feel, but in reality I am still shocked, excited and I feel blessed and I feel overwhelmed by the support that I am getting.”
Pretoria News reported that the seven boys and three girls were two more than the eight children doctors had earlier detected during the medical scans.
Tsotetsi said the additions to their family meant he was now the father of 16.
He said he was grateful that God chose him to be the father to the miracles, especially in a trying time like Covid-19.
“I feel blessed and I am happy. I am happy for the support that I am getting,” he said.
Speaking about the scepticism on social media, he assured South Africans that the babies do exist but said the matter was sensitive because the babies were born premature.
“It is a very unique situation. They are premature, they are still incubated. Very small as you can think – 10 children in one womb that normally carries one baby.
“They are very small, so the sensitivity that goes into that, even the doctors, they don’t want to risk that.”
Tsotetsi said that as a family they also want to give doctors the space and privacy to provide the babies with the care they need.
“People will see the babies at the right time.”
Pretoria News editor Piet Rampedi explained that even though he had been in touch with the couple since late last year, it was important to keep the story under wraps due to concerns for safety as well as cultural and religious reasons.
Tsotetsi said Sithole was recovering well in hospital after giving birth on Monday night.
“She is doing very well, she gave birth to five babies [naturally] and then had the other five by caesarian.”
He said his wife had been in pain but she started walking by herself on Wednesday.
Six doctors, including two gynaecologists, and two nurses helped the family deliver the babies.
Independent Media chairperson, Dr Iqbal Survé congratulated the family and pledged the support of Independent Media.
“We think that what has happened is a wonderful, wonderful gift to our nation. Nowhere in the world has this ever happened,” he said.
“These are extremely special babies. All children are important but this is especially important because at one go our nation has been given this gift to truly treasure.”
Survé said that it was important to put measures in place to ensure that the family was taken care of.
He announced that his family foundation, Survé Philanthropies has committed at least R1 million to the family, to be paid over a period of four years.
Survé encouraged South Africans who want to be part of the support system for the family to contribute and said that they will assist the family in setting up a trust.
“We want to make sure that the babies are going to be well looked after. This is not going to be easy for the family to do at one go.
“We want to provide comprehensive support but more importantly, we want to facilitate that the family is secure in this way.”
Survé said South Africans were warm hearted and generous, adding that he had no doubt that they would come in their millions to support the family.
Independent Media chief operating officer Takudzwa Hove said members of the public were also free to drop off items at the company’s offices in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban. This includes the Pretoria News offices in the Pretoria CBD.