PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has instructed the Minister of Sports to handle the controversy that continues to surround athletics heroine Caster Semenya - and it was about time that the executive became involved.
But this should go further than the International Association of Athletics Federation's request that Zuma persuade Athletics South Africa president Leonard Chuene to withdraw his resignation from the world body.
With due respect to the Presidency, the ministry, Chuene and the IAAF, whether he stays or goes is secondary to whether he misled South Africans and the world when he said Semenya had not been subjected to a sex test.
Semenya's coach, Wilfred Daniels, has since quit his position and insists the young woman was duped into submitting to such a test when she was under the impression it was a routine doping check.
As matters stand we do not know which of the mutually destructive versions is true.
If Chuene is found to have misled all of us, as Daniels alleges, the IAAF and South African athletics will be better off without him. Daniels, who has already quit, should be prevented from coaching young athletes again because he would have caused Semenya further and unnecessary pain and embarrassment.
It is amazing that it has taken the executive this long to step in and defend South Africa's most positive little story.
We hope this happens with the same speed that Semenya has made such a permanent feature of her life.