Dlamini Zuma expresses her support for Semenya

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pretoria - Minister of Home Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is proud of gold-medallist Caster Semenya for triumphing despite the controversy surrounding her gender.

"All of us South Africans are indeed proud that Caster has brought honour and glory to our country through her sterling performance at the Berlin Athletics World Championship despite doubts being expressed about her gender," said Minister Dlamini Zuma.

The minister on Sunday telephoned Caster in Berlin, Germany to express her support to the Limpopo-born athlete.

Earlier this week, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) asked for tests to determine Caster's gender. Her masculine build and rapid improvements in performance had led to doubts about her gender.

She was, however, allowed to participate in the event pending the results and went on to win race leading 1 minute, 55.45 seconds.

Minister Dlamini Zuma expressed outrage at the questions that had arisen over Caster's gender.

"We are proud that despite these distractions Caster still went on to win the gold medal both for her own pride in particular and the pride of the nation in general."

She said all South Africans, especially women, must rally around Caster and reject with the contempt it deserves the insinuations being made about her gender.

"Caster deserves our support as a nation against the onslaught being waged against her. To us Caster is simply the best 800m woman World Champion and must be given a heroine's welcome upon return to South Africa on Tuesday," said Minister Dlamini Zuma.