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Leave Caster alone says Winnie

caster-makoverThe ex-wife of Nelson Mandela has launched a staunch defence of Caster Semenya, as unverified leaked reports from Australia claim that gender tests have shown her to be an hermaphrodite, born with male and female genitalia

According to the website Afrik.com, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said: “I am listening to the news. I’m just extremely hurt by what I am hearing. The poor innocent child is a victim of all this, and it is not of her making. She needs our moral support. We should tell her how proud we are of her. It doesn’t matter what she looks like.”

In the immediate aftermath of the World Championships in Berlin it was originally reported that the IAAF gender tests could take as long as two or three months to complete. Yet a single report in a Sydney newspaper, just a fortnight after the controversy began, is now being reported worldwide as if it is fact. Yet, until the IAAF can confirm the findings, it would be wise for the world’s media to urge caution.

South African President Jacob Zuma said today: “We have a girl who has performed and won. I don’t think we should play with people’s lives and privacy. Why should we not respect the privilege between doctor and patient?

“I think we are faced with an unfortunate situation in this country where we claim to respect privacy and the rights of people, but then we do something that moves against those principles and values.”

In the light of evidence that the IAAF have dealt with past gender-verification tests for other athletes in private, without a media circus that has politicised the issue and no doubt severely embarrassed the South African runner, we have to question why Semenya’s case has been handled so badly in contrast to the tact and diplomacy that has accompanied similar cases?

Lester Holloway

One Response

  1. Everything about this story is vehemently racist. Because she does not “conform” to western notions of femininity – there is a witch hunt against her! The whole coverage of this story by the Athletics body and the media has been so distasteful. To think that she has to deal with this whilst being only 18 – one of the most sensitive years of a teenagers life!

    If she were white would she still receive the same kind of insensitive treatment?

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