Mzansi is getting fully behind Caster Semenya as she heads to Lausanne, Switzerland to fight her case against the IAAF at the Court of Arbitration for Sport next week.
And the Olympic and world 800m champion has kept a dignified silence for the big battle against the impending new regulations from the IAAF for female athletes who have Differences in Sex Development (DSD), which has to do with testosterone levels, for distances from 400m to the mile.
However, Semenya often puts up ‘cryptic’ messages on her social media channels, and on Friday morning, the 28-year-old from Limpopo posted a picture with the caption: “I+me = myself”
Olympic 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk showed his support by posting a heart emoji, while Semenya’s wife Violet Raseboya said: “too much sauce”
Minister of Sport and Recreation Tokozile Xasa said earlier on Friday that the government were going to fund the support team for Semenya, including lawyers and medical experts, as part of a campaign called ‘Naturally Superior’.
“Through our Department of Sport and Recreation, we have established a high-level panel consisting of the medical and legal work-streams respectively. This panel consists of experts in both medical and legal fraternities, who constitute the respective work streams,” Xasa said.
“There is a third work stream constituted by the departmental personnel, and its mandate is to raise public awareness and mobilise public support on the discriminatory nature of these regulations.
“Work in all the streams has commenced, and the high-level panel have prepared a formidable case based on legal and medical data collected, and the legal team will appear before CAS to present the case in support of the case lodged by both Athletic South Africa (ASA) and Ms Caster Mokgadi Semenya.
“The third government stream has also started with its work, which primarily focus on mobilisation of public and international support for the ASA and Caster Semenya cases, and condemnation of the Regulations, both their letter and spirit.”
Among the panel members are University of Pretoria law professor Steve Cornelius, Athletics South Africa president Aleck Skhosana and Sascoc board member Dr Debbie Alexander, and it will be chaired by Sports Department director-general Alec Moemi.
Meanwhile, Cricket South Africa have also voiced their support for Semenya.
“We stand here as the cricket fraternity joining all the voices throughout the world, to denounce the IAAF Gender Regulations as an act of discrimination against women in sport,” CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe said on Friday.
“We state categorically and emphatically that women like Caster, who is born with intersex variations, should enjoy the same rights to dignity as all women. We honour, celebrate and recognise the equality of all women in sport.
“We call on all morally astute global citizens to rally behind Caster and vocally join in advocating for her right to continue to compete at the highest level.
“This attempt at systematically ostracising her potential and talent should be condemned in the strongest terms.”@ashfakmohamed