Cape Town - Reports of children who are being kidnapped, murdered, trafficked or missing are on the increase in South Africa. The underground whispers of baby trafficking, either to sell to unsuspecting adopters, as slaves for sex trafficking or to use their body parts for “Muti” are slowly surfacing, albeit too late.
The escalation in the number of “missing” children, seemingly without a trace in our country is poignant and frightening. At best, one does not know how big the problem is, nor are we able to understand the myths and misconceptions.
In response to Independent Media’s Special Investigations Unit findings relating to the #Tembisa10 and the birth of decuplets by Gosiame Sithole and Teboho Tsotetsi, Survé Philanthropies has committed to continued support of the #Tembisa10 eight part docu-series. This follows their initial support for the first 4 episodes, and the successful completion of Season One of the docu-series by the documentary film production team.
Child trafficking is a real problem in South Africa. The 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report published by the US Department of State recently downgraded South Africa to a ‘Tier 2 Watchlist’ from Tier 2 in 2020. According to the report, countries on the ‘Tier 2 Watchlist’ include those in which trafficking has increased significantly, and where the country does not take the necessary concrete actions. The report also cites that corruption and official complicity in human trafficking remained a significant obstacle, and the government did not take action in most reported cases. It is against this background that Survé Philanthropies and Independent Media are strongly supporting the documentary.
Outlining the rationale for this support, Dr Iqbal Survé indicated: “Through Survé Philanthropies, we have funded anti-trafficking programmes in the past as part of the ‘Human Rights and Social Justice’ Pillar. The unanswered questions surrounding the story of the #Tembisa10 has provided the impetus for continued support for anti- trafficking, with a particular focus on baby trafficking. Furthermore, with my other hat that I wear as Executive Chairman of Independent Media, I feel that we need to get to the bottom of the truth of what exactly transpired in the #Tembisa10 story.”
Director of the docu-series, Viasen Soobramoney added: “We have crafted the docu-series with a very strong human interest storytelling approach, in which the personal testimonies and voices of the key characters are relayed personally This allows the audience to get to know the characters better, and for them to form their own conclusions about what may or may not have transpired in the story of #Tembisa10.”
Season One which consists of four episodes provides a background to the baby trafficking industry globally, and also features testimonies of the mother, Gosiame Sithole, and both of her partners (Sipho Mzolo and Teboho Tsotetsi) whom she had triplets and decuplets with respectively.
In case you missed Season One, you can catch up on all Episodes here.
Starting mid-January 2022, Season Two will also be broadcast over four episodes, which will include a continuation of Teboho’s search for the missing Gosiame and what happened next, the revelation of a figure who has been integral to all the episodes to date, further interviews with experts in their fields - medico-legal, infertility and the like; as well as shining a light on others who operate in the shadows and whose questionable practises gave rise to the investigation that followed.
Season Two will be broadcast on Independent Media’s YouTube channel and other platforms.