By: Kaya News Reporter
Pretoria News Editor, Piet Rampedi, the man who broke the story of the Tembisa 10 has issued an apology to Independent Media for the backlash around the way he handled the matter.
Rampedi’s apology comes on the back of Gosiame Sithole’s psychological evaluation at Tembisa Hospital last week, where doctors assessed the woman and found that she showed no signs of being pregnant or delivering a baby in recent weeks.
The story of the Tembisa 10 shocked the country and made international headlines but the Department of Health stated that there is no records of the decuplet’s birth.
In the email apology to Independent Media’s editor-in-chief Aneez Salie, Rampedi stated that he had no reason to believe that Sithole was lying about the pregnancy and was filled with regret and sadness.
“I am sorry for the reputational damage the aftermath of the story has caused for the group, the company and my colleagues in general. I am fully aware that the story, and the general response, put all my colleagues in an awkward position and under immense public pressure.” – Piet Rampedi
He admits that he could have done more to verify the story but felt the story was one of celebration and therefore he didn’t treat Gosiame’s story as an investigation.
“Even though I stand by the fact that Sithole was pregnant, some aspects of the story could have been dealt with differently. Could I have handled the story much better? Definitely! Especially the verification process. Quite honestly, I never treated the decuplets story as an investigation at all. I used no investigative tool or checklist,” Rampedi continued in the email.
South Africans feel Rampedi’s apology should have been extended to all those who rallied behind the couple in support and shared their frustrations on social media:
I fail to fathom how Piet trusted that there were 8 babies and took it this far without any medical confirmation whatsoever. Surely if these people wanted their story heard, they wouldn’t have had issues with providing some kind of proof. #Decuplets https://t.co/lfhjBSWlgF
— Himura Kenshin!🤺🀄 (@OwamieVoid) June 23, 2021
Piet shud hv forseen that a story like this would arouse national and international interest; there4, he couldn’t afford to have facts twisted. I began to doubt this story the minute I realized that only independent media was reporting on it. It can’t be. #pietrampedi #Decuplets
— Independent_thinker (@MMorakiwa) June 23, 2021
-Now, all those sponsors must take back their donations.
-That crazy couple must apologize to the country.#pietrampedi must also apologize to SA for his unprofessional behavior with regards to this #Tembisa10 #Decuplets story. https://t.co/36ZoYTZc7x
— Tsitsi (@I_am_MsMathole) June 23, 2021