Rights group takes up Semenya race issue

A civil rights organisation has laid a charge with the world’s governing body of athletics against the president of Athletics South Africa (ASA) for inciting racial polarisation over athlete Caster Semenya.

Afriforum chief executive Kallie Kriel said he had laid a charge against Leonard Chuene, with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

“Chuene’s polarising statements, which transformed the deplorable events regarding Caster Semenya’s gender into a racial issue ... is a gross violation of the IAAF’s constitution and rules.”

Kriel said Chuene had also been charged by AfriForum with allowing the ASA’s media conference and gathering at the time of Semenya’s return to South Africa to be used as a platform for African National Congress (ANC) politicians to exploit Semenya for political purposes.

“The president of the ANC Youth League, Julius Malema, among others launched a scathing attack against whites at this occasion,” Kriel said.

He said AfriForum had asked the IAAF to take strong action against those responsible for disclosing the information about the gender testing which caused the violation of Semenya’s privacy and human dignity.

Semenya (18) won a gold medal in the women’s 800m race at the World Athletics Championship in Berlin, Germany.
Her win, however, was marred by controversy as the IAAF ordered she undergo gender verification tests.—Sapa

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