Decuplets’ mom says Department of Social Development is holding her against her will
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Johannesburg - Gosiame Sithole will apply for an urgent court interdict to force the Gauteng Department of Social Development to release her from its custody against her will, her lawyer said.
Refiloe Mokoena said she received the instructions after the department had forcefully took the decuplets mom to Tembisa Hospital in Ekurhuleni for psychological assessment on Thursday.
Nearly a fortnight after Sithole gave birth to 10 babies at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria last week, the whereabouts of her children and their state of health remain a mystery.
Mokoena said instead police arrested and handed her to the Department of Social Development, which took her to hospital against her will. They also denied her legal access and permission to be evaluated by private psychologists alongside the ones appointed by the department.
“She 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 said last night.
“When I left Tembisa Hospital, she made it clear that seeing that she is now being held against her will, I should please move an urgent court order for her to be released…”
Gauteng Department of Social Development spokesperson Feziwe Ndwanyana and Gauteng Community Safety Department spokesperson Pinkie Numa referred all enquiries to provincial government spokesperson Thabo Masebe, who said: “Kindly direct your enquiries to the SAPS”. Gauteng police spokesperson Kay Makhubela referred questions back to the department. But last Thursday the GDSD issued a statement rubbishing claims that Sithole had gone missing following the decuplets birth.