ANC condemns Semenya gender row

The African National Congress (ANC) on Thursday anointed new 800m world champion Caster Semenya as the nation’s ”golden girl” while condemning speculation on the runner’s gender.

The ANC called on South Africans to ”rally behind our golden girl and shrug off negative and unwarranted questions about her gender”, said ANC spokesperson Brian Sokutu in a statement on Thursday.

”Caster is not the only woman athlete with a masculine build and the International Association of Athletics Federation [IAAF] should know better.”

Semenya (18) won the 800m race in one minute 55,45 seconds in Berlin on Wednesday, shortly after the IAAF announced she would have to undergo a gender test.

”We condemn the motives of those who have made it their business to question her gender due to her physique and running style. Such comments can only serve to portray women as being weak,” Sokutu said.

”Not only has 18-year-old Caster made her family proud but the entire country — a boost for athletics. Her determination to succeed in becoming a world-renowned athlete has made Caster a role model for young athletes.”

The government’s Ministry of Women also praised Semenya.

”Semenya’s outstanding success despite negative media speculation about her gender demonstrates her determination and resolve to succeed,” the ministry said in a statement.

‘She’s a girl’
Meanwhile, the family of Semenya says she is definitely a woman, newspapers reported on Thursday.

”[The controversy] doesn’t bother me that much because I know she’s a woman — I raised her myself,” Semenya’s paternal grandmother Maputhi Sekgala told The Times.

”What can I do when they call her a man, when she’s not really a man? It is God who made her look that way,” said Sekgala.

She said her granddaughter had been teased at school for her looks and for being the only girl on the local soccer team. — AFP

 

AFP

An actual Black Friday deal

Subscribe for R2/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Mandatory vaccination on cards as Ramaphosa keeps South Africa on...

Ramaphosa calls out world leaders for irrational travel bans as scientists gather evidence on new Omicron variant

South Africa’s just energy transition: A balancing act

South Africa’s transition to renewables will depend on its ability to attract sustained energy investments

South Africa at the start of a Covid-19 vaccine the...

The World Health Organisation has enlisted a team of South African researchers to produce a new mRNA Covid-19 vaccine, but with no recipe to follow, it’s not an easy task

Western Union suspends services in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado

It is now considerably more difficult for Mozambicans in the conflict-hit province to use financial services
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×