Pretoria - Following a series of investigations, Independent Media can finally reveal who was involved and where Gosiame Sithole, the mother of the ‘Tembisa 10’ delivered her decuplets.
Sithole, 49, made global headlines in June last year when the Pretoria News broke the story of her pregnancy. The story was at first welcomed for the celebration it should have been but was swiftly thereafter decried as “fake news”, prompting Independent Media to launch several investigations into the saga.
Part of the investigations involved private investigators working independently of each other, Independent Media’s investigative unit of journalists and highly placed sources with intimate knowledge on the matter.
Following several leads, multiple sources led Independent Media to obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Kazeem Okanlomo who is believed to have been involved in the delivery of Sithole’s decuplets. It was established through the investigation that Okanlomo, who also uses the alias “Dr Okadingwa” operated from a practice on the East Rand and other hospitals in Gauteng and that Sithole’s babies were delivered at Steve Biko Academic Hospital.
“Our investigation led us to Okanlomo and Steve Biko Academic Hospital and we have reason to believe that he was involved in the pre and postnatal care of Gosiame Sithole. Our investigative reporters, private investigators and senior hospital staff were able to determine his involvement,” said Independent Media’s Investigations Unit Editor, Sizwe Dlamini.
According to Dlamini, Okanlomo was identified by several sources as having had a role in the birth of the decuplets. These included private Investigators; senior hospital staff; other medical doctors, Sithole’s call records; and Sithole, who identified him during an interview with Independent Media.
Sithole said that Okanlomo had seen her several times during her pregnancy and had even introduced her to a “sponsor” – someone only identified as “Dr Roberto” who had offered to fund Sithole’s delivery at a private hospital in Gauteng.
“I saw ‘Dr Okadingwa’ at Sunninghill Hospital,” confirmed Sithole who described how she met him after being injured at her place of work at Pick n Pay in Woodmead.
On being introduced to ‘Dr Roberto’, Sithole says “Dr Roberto is a friend of Dr Okadingwa. He asked me whether I had a medical aid or not and that he would sponsor me and look after me. Then he asked me about the father of the babies, and if I was happy with him and I told him that I’m not married but that I am with the father of my babies.”
Sithole said that she believes the ‘doctors’ were convincing women to give up their babies and that they are taking advantage of poor women.
After seeing Okanlomo at Sunninghill Hospital, Sithole said he asked her to go for check-ups at Tembisa and Carstenhof hospitals, which would be closer to where she lives. He still attended to her as his patient, she claimed.
A private investigator, whose identity is known to Independent Media, said that senior hospital staff had identified Okanlomo as the doctor that had delivered the decuplets and even set up a meeting between Okanlomo (Okadingwa) and the investigators.
“A senior hospital staffer first alerted us to Dr Okanlomo while we were making enquiries following the fallout of the Tembisa 10. She arranged to set up a meeting with him. We met him at a coffee shop and he said to us that he was not the mastermind of the entire saga but was brought in to ‘clean up the mess’,” said the investigator.
After being pointed in the direction of Okanlomo, investigators visited his practice on the East Rand undercover. Shortly after leaving his surgery, one of the investigators was pulled off the road by police and intimidated.
Sithole also provided Independent Media with her call records that indicate contact between her and Okanlomo shortly after she gave birth. She reiterated that she had given birth at Steve Biko Academic hospital.
When contacted for comment, Okanlomo denied any involvement.
“You must be mentally unstable to keep asking me about something I know nothing about,” said Okanlomo. “Some people have called me recently regarding something I know nothing about. There’s no point in calling me and telling me I have committed a crime; that’s why I am saying you should go to the nearest police station and lay a charge because that’s what I am going to do.
Government departments had either not responded or had referred journalists to a previous statement by the Gauteng provincial government denying that any birth had taken place in the province.