Photo: Piet Rampedi / Twitter
‘Our state hospitals are the epicentre of human trafficking and baby trafficking. We can say unequivocally that this happens at Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Tembisa Hospital and George Mukhari Academic Hospital,” said Dr Iqbal Surve on Wednesday.
Photo: Piet Rampedi / Twitter
Dr Iqbal Surve led a press conference about the Tembisa 10 on Wednesday, 27 October. Surve, who is the head of Independent Media’s parent company Sekunjalo Investment Holdings, made several startling allegations.
After no trace of the decuplets that Gosiame Sithole supposedly gave birth to in June 2021 could be found, and the government denied their existence, Independent Media launched an investigation, chaired by Advocate Michael Donen, into what happened to the babies.
Surve said the investigation found that the babies were born. Eight were reportedly successfully delivered and two died during the process because of alleged medical negligence.
The most shocking claim made by Surve was that some government employees and state hospitals are part of a human trafficking syndicate.
‘Our state hospitals are the epicentre of human trafficking and baby trafficking. We can say unequivocally that this happens at Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Tembisa Hospital and George Mukhari Academic Hospital,” said Surve.
He also claimed that Home Affairs is also involved as Identity Documents and patient records are not recorded properly or disappear.
“We were able to, at great risk to our journalists, deep dive into the syndicates and uncover horrific stories of how these babies were trafficked from Gauteng through to Mpumalanga, through to West Africa and also to Europe and also the United States.
“About 50 percent of the babies are given up for adoption, the other 50 percent are used for muti, cosmetic surgery and stem cells,” said Surve.
Surve called on the government to put systems in place to prevent human trafficking. He also called for the immediate suspension of all the CEOs of the hospitals allegedly implicated in the report, along with the Gauteng MEC of Health, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi, and Gauteng MEC of Social Development, Morakane Mosupyoe.
“According to our sources, the baby trafficking industry is worth between R1 to R2 billion in South Africa annually,” said Surve. He claimed the Independent investigation identified the names of some of the surgeries the human trafficking ring allegedly operates from in Gauteng. They also claim to know who “the key person” behind the syndicate that they are aware of is.
“Whatever the government says about gender-based violence is hollow if they do not act on this matter – institute a commission of inquiry, in fact, get law enforcement authorities to investigate each and every single one of the doctors, nurses, social workers and police that are involved in all of this,” said Surve.
Independent said the government must answer one question to the public: “where are the babies right now?”
The media company said it intends to release a 10 part video series on what happened to the Tembisa 10. The names of all those involved in the saga will reportedly be made public.