Tembisa 10 Piet Rampedi

The Tembisa 10’s Gosiame Sithole. Image: IOL/Twitter

Tembisa 10: Here’s what we learnt from Independent Media’s investigation

The first episode of Independent Media’s series on the Tembisa 10 has dropped, but we’re no closer to concrete answers about the scandal.

Tembisa 10 Piet Rampedi

The Tembisa 10’s Gosiame Sithole. Image: IOL/Twitter

Independent Media has released the first episode of their eight-part docuseries outlining their investigation into the controversial Tembisa 10 scandal involving the dubious reporting that a woman had given birth to decuplets earlier this year. 

Following the publication of their “World Exclusive” – authored by journalist Piet Rampedi – questions arose as to the legitimacy of the claims. The weeks that followed saw scepticism mount, with no records of the unprecedented births emerging. 

Despite this, IOL and chairman Iqbal Survey stuck to their story, insisting that the disappearance of the alleged babies was linked to a sinister human trafficking syndicate. 

Tembisa 10 ‘trafficked’ – Iqbal Survey  

In the first episode of the eight part series, Independent Media maintains that there is a high level scandal unfolding, with allegations that the Gauteng Department of Health, as well as doctors and social workers, are complicit in the trafficking of children such as the Tembisa 10. 

Last month, Survey held a press conference in which he outlined these allegations as part of the findings of his team’s investigation into the matter. 

“There has been an exponential rise in the number of human trafficking cases globally. South Africa is no exception. Women and children are falling prey to unscrupulous syndicates dealing in slavery who supply the voracious appetite of sickening monsters. We simply cannot allow this to happen,” he said. 

“Our forthcoming docuseries aims to not only validate the birth of the decuplets, but importantly, to support the heroic efforts of those involved in combatting trafficking and to make citizens more alert to the possibilities of what is happening around them. What our team discovered in the making of this series is deeply disturbing.”

What are the findings?

So what have we learnt from the first episode? Here’s a summary of the allegations and findings: 

  • Bianca Van Aswegen from Missing Children South Africa suggested that there is a “possibility that the Tembisa 10 babies were trafficked”.
  • Independent Media maintains that Piet Rampedi had not erred in his reporting of the story, but teased that the findings of a well-resourced investigation team exposes criminal acts that involve high ranking officials. 
  • Human trafficking is a growing problem in South Africa, with the 2021 human trafficking report cited as evidence that babies are frequently stolen from hospitals and sold for illegal adoptions and organ trade. 

We’ll have to wait for episode two to find out exactly what they’ve uncovered, but so far we’re no closer to a comprehensive answer as to where the alleged babies ended up.