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SA: Statement by Vytjie Mentor, Chairperson of Public Enterprise, condemning IAAF and media on Caster Semenya (14/09/2009)

14th September 2009

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Parliament, 14 September 2009 - The Chairperson of the Portfolio
Committee on Public Enterprise, Ms Vytjie Mentor, says the International
Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) and the media must share the
blame for the approach taken in sexually discriminating against South
African athletic star Ms Caster Semenya.

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A report leaked to an Australian newspaper claimed that the
middle-distance athlete does not have a womb or ovaries, and that she
has internal testes. Ms Semenya came under attack amid speculation that
she does not meet the requirements to compete as a woman.

Ms Mentor said Athletics South Africa (ASA) should state what role they
were playing in assisting and supporting their star athlete: *Semenya
is not a cheat and will never be a cheat,* she said. The Chairperson
said the leak had been deliberate. She called on the IAAF to act on the
matter, instead of insisting that it would release the gender
verification results in November.

The Chairperson said despite the leaked report she would continue with
the two Private Members Legislative proposals to amend laws so that
Commission on Gender Equality and Human Rights Commission could support
Ms Semenya and other South Africans. On behalf of Ms Semenya, Parliament
would also demand compensation from the IAAF for the abuse and prejudice
that she had been subjected to.

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*I find it strange that people with criminal deeds and those that are
anti-human rights are nestled in Australia,* Ms Mentor said.

 

 

 

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