Minister of Sport & Recreation Ms. Tokozile Xasa, has noted the outcome of Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) case on the matter involving, Ms. Caster Semenya, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF).
“Naturally we are disappointed with the judgement, however we have directed ASA to request a copy of the full judgement. We will study the judgement, consider it and determine a way-forward. As the South African government we have always maintained that these regulations trample on the human rights and dignity of Caster Semenya and other women athletes. We will comment further after studying the full judgement.” Minister Xasa said.
Minister Xasa has also thanked people of South Africa for supporting Caster Semenya across, race, gender and class divisions. She has also thanked various sectors including human rights bodies, media, medical science fraternity, sport bodies & sport personalities, the international bodies and the sports law experts, for their insights and unwavering support. “The kind of support that Ms. Semenya received amongst South Africans was heartwarming it was a true South African spirit of Ubuntu. The international community through the Human Rights Council of the United Nations has once more proven to be a body worthy of its name.” Xasa added.
The Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa established A high-level panel. The panel consisted of the Medical, Legal and government workstreams. This panel consisted of experts in the medical, legal and public sectors, who constituted the respective work streams. The government work stream’s mandate was to raise public awareness and mobilize public support on the discriminatory nature of these regulations. It also worked on international mobilization and solidarity through the diplomatic channels. “I truly thank all teams who have worked beyond the call of duty, you are true patriots. I have no doubt that our case was compelling and the amount of support we have received was through your hard work.” Xasa added. Minister has assured Caster Semenya of South Africa’s continued support as we navigate the future with her. “You remain our Golden Girl, what you have done for our people and girls is enormous. You have flown our flag high, you have united a nation and inspired a rural girl. For that we thank you Mokgadi.” Xasa concluded.
Minister Xasa further calls upon ASA as a member of the IAAF to take this matter up in the General Council of members of the IAAF. “ASA should continue to lobby other National Athletics Associations in other jurisdictions to internally oppose these regulations. We too in government will continue to lobby through other international organisations on our opposition to these regulations and to continue to put the necessary pressure on the IAAF to see the impact of these regulations on global human rights tenets and frameworks”. Minister Xasa has urged all South Africans to continue supporting our athletes, as they are the role models we seek to utilise in inspiring the future generations and in uniting our people.