Caster: political parties call for Chuene's sacking

2009-09-21 00:00

PRETORIA — “Disgusting”, “chauvinistic”, “insensitive” and “selfish” are some of the words used by political parties to describe Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Leonard Chuene’s handling of the Caster Semenya case at the weekend.

The Sports and Recreation Department, Cope, the DA and the ID are calling for ASA president Chuene’s dismissal.

The ANC said the officials who handled the case surrounding South Africa’s 800 m women’s champion at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin, should be confronted.

Chuene admitted at a media conference in Pretoria on Saturday that he lied about the issue of Semenya’s gender testing

He said he acted in Semenya’s best interests, and “believed my persistent denials would help to protect her”.

Gideon Sam, chair of the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), said in a statement that he recently had a meeting with Tubby Reddy, chief executive of Sascoc, Chuene and Molatelo Malehopo, general manager of ASA, at which Chuene repeated that they were not aware of any gender testing done on Semenya in South Africa.

Sam said Sascoc will launch an investigation to determine whether ASA officials gave their permission for gender testing to be done on Semenya before the World Athletics Championships.

Sascoc will then decide how to proceed.

Deputy Sports Minister Gert Oosthuizen said: “We do not agree with Mr Chuene’s insistence that he lied in Ms Semenya’s interest, in fact we are of the view that his lies were to Ms Semenya’s detriment.”

“In light of this, we now request the membership of ASA to not only take disciplinary action against Mr Chuene, but to fire him from his position as the president of ASA,” he said.

“If they fail to do so, they will be running the risk of being led by a liar.”

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said yesterday that the party’s national executive committee looked at the Caster Semenya case and felt that the way in which it was managed, was disgusting.

ASA did not handle the case with the utmost transparency and honesty.”

Cope, the DA and the ID called for Chuene’s dismissal.

ID spokesman Joe Mcgluwa said: “Caster’s pride and honour have been wounded by one of our own people. That is the lowest form of chauvinism and unpatriotic behaviour, and for this Chuene must be punished.”

Donald Lee, the DA’s shadow minister for sport and recreation, said Chuene “is rapidly becoming a national disgrace”. He said Chuene’s “insensitive and selfish” behaviour hold negative consequences for Semenya’s as well as SA’s image abroad.

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