Monday, October 19, 2009

ANC Statement From the Caster Semenya Support Task Team

ANC statement of the Caster Semenya Support Task Team

16 October 2009

The ANC Caster Semenya Support Task Team has requested an urgent meeting with the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) to express our outrage in the manner in which IAAF has handled the Caster Semenya matter and furthermore, to find an amicable solution to this matter and thus its closure.

During the meeting the ANC will advise the IAAF to publicly and unconditionally apologise to Caster Semenya and her family, to the South African President, the honourable Jacob Zuma and the entire nation for the violation of Caster's rights, the humiliation, injustice and pain she continues to suffer. The mishandling of her gender verification processes and its aftermath, also affected the country and indeed, the entire leadership of the country, negatively.

The Task Team will also advise the IAAF to declare the gender verification tests results conducted both in South Africa and Berlin null and void. These tests were not conducted in keeping with their own stated gender verification policies and rules.

We will also make the point to the IAAF that Caster Semenya is an exceptional woman athlete and a world champ.

The meeting with IAAF came as a result of consultations the task team has held with different stakeholders to establish concrete information on the occurrence prior and post the Berlin Olympics.

These consultations included Caster's parents, the government of South Africa, the University of Pretoria, Caster's Coach, Students leadership, particularly the South African Student Organisation (SASCO), Civil Society, Athletics South Africa and Artists to establish facts and their take on the matter and further seek their support for this initiative.

Through these consultations, we now understand and appreciate the extent and the magnitude of this matter as it unfolded prior and post Berlin.

Upon completion of these consultations, we came to a conclusion that we should meet the IAAF Executive prior to their President's visit to South Africa.

We still await the date, venue and time for the meeting.

The Task Team is also pleased with progress in the articulation of a celebratory programme for Caster Semenya, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi - the Men's 800m gold medallist- and Kgotso Mokoena - the silver medallist in the men's long jump. We should be able to launch such a programme in the next two weeks.

The task team would like to take this opportunity to thank all South Africans who responded positively to the call by the ANC in taking up the Caster Semenya Support Campaign. The task team got positive and encouraging feedback, pledges and commitments by individuals and institutions to support the campaign. We furthermore, call upon those who have not as yet embraced the campaign to do so either by calling, faxing or e-mailing the task team office at:

Tel (011) 376 1052
Fax: 0866581053

Issued by:
Jackson Mthembu
ANC National Spokesperson

Ishmael Mnisi 0823335550

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