Department welcomes decision on Caster


Zizi Kodwa, the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, welcomed the decision by the European Court of Human Rights which validates Caster Semenya’s “struggle to vindicate her human dignity and the request to protect women’s rights in sport”.

The Olympic 800 m champion won her appeal case in court on Tuesday. Semenya disputed the issue of whether her rights had been violated regarding a requirement that women with high testosterone levels be obliged to lower these levels with the use of medication.

The 32-year-old Semenya refuses to use medication that lowers her testosterone levels, as required by World Athletics.

The three-time world champion in middle distance races is classified as a DSD athlete, i.e. an athlete with “differences in sexual development”.

“As a double Olympic champion and triple World Champion, Caster Semenya has repeatedly demonstrated excellence and dignity – on and off the court,” says Kodwa. “Caster has done this throughout her career while being subjected to offensive treatment. This prevented her from participating in her favorite items. The fight to make sure Caster can participate in her favorite events continues, but the ruling by the European Court is a clear sign of the discrimination Caster has faced.”

Kodwa says he has repeatedly argued that women’s rights are human rights. “As the South African government, we will continue to support Caster and Athletics South Africa in the fight for the dignity of female athletes.”