GAUTENG SPEAKER PLEDGES HER SUPPORT FOR CASTER SEMENYA

Caster Semenya raising the South African flag high after a race

The Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Communication Unit issued this media statement on the 22nd of February 2019 on behalf of the speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Honourable Ntombi Mekgwe in support of Caster Semenya.

Speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL), Honourable Ntombi Mekgwe, has expressed her support for Ms Caster Semenya who is currently challenging the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) new regulation that seeks to restrict female athletes with higher than normal testosterone levels to compete in international events.

Speaker Mekgwe holds a strong view that this regulation, which is discriminatory in nature, goes against the norms and standards of human rights that must be upheld by the international community at all times.

She says, “We are a country that prides itself in upholding the fundamental values and principles of human rights and have a responsibility to demonstrate this to the international community. I believe that the fight waged by Ms Semenya is a clear indication of how we value human rights as espoused in our Constitution; it warrants our unwavering support as a nation.”

“We have emerged victorious in many battles as a nation by holding hands and together fighting against the many forms of discrimination directed towards anyone of us, and it is for this reason that we should all feel duty bound to support Ms Semenya in this battle,” added Speaker Mekgwe.

She applauded Ms Semenya for her courage in appealing this regulation and compared it to that of the brave women of 1956 who marched to the Union Buildings against discriminatory laws of the apartheid government.

“Like the remarkable winner that we know Ms Semenya to be, we pledge our support and wish her all the best with our renown confidence that she will emerge victorious in this trial,” she continued.

“This victory that we await with vigour will not only be a victory for Ms Semenya, but a victory for the international community; and will once again give a practical exhibition to the world that every time we join hands together as a nation, we can conquer any battle that besets us,” added Speaker Mekgwe.