The Pretoria News editor, Piet Rampedi, has allegedly penned an apology to his colleagues and employers for the backlash regarding the Tembisa 10. According to various media sources an email was sent to Independent Media’s editor-in-chief, Aneez Salie, which , Rampedi said he was full of “sadness and regret”, but stood by the fact that Gosiame Sithole was pregnant and gave birth.
Rampedi’s story of the so-called ‘Tembisa 10’ recently captured local and international attention after the newspaper claimed a woman had given birth to decuplets and, as a result, had broken a world record. But almost immediately suspicions were raised as health officials in Gauteng said they were unable to verify or confirm the births, which would have been a world record.
In the interim, the publication — and its online platform IOL — doubled down on the story, continuing to profess its accuracy and, at one stage, saying that health authorities were part of a cover-up. The national health department maintained last week there was no record of the delivery of decuplets in Gauteng.
In his email, Rampedi wrote: “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.
“To be blunt, the story provided detractors with an opportunity to cast aspersions on the professional integrity of not only myself, but also my colleagues in the group. For that, I am extremely sorry. It was unfortunate. And I would like to apologise to you, my colleagues and the group,” he said.It’s further alleged that when News24 approached Salie, he said he would not be commenting on internal company matters.