ANC URGES ASA TO COME CLEAN
THE saga around gold medallist Caster Semenya has taken an unexpected turn, with the ANC now gunning for Athletics South Africa president Leonard Chuene.
Previously ASA had the support of Sport and Recreation Minister Makhenkesi Stofile, who threatened "world war III" against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for its handling of the Semenya's case.
Now the party wants Stofile to "extract the truth from ASA".
Yesterday ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu accused the ASA of lying to President Jacob Zuma, Stofile, Semenya's family and the fans.
"In their submission to the task team they were less than honest and very defensive and did not disclose their role in the process and in sanctioning the gender verification tests conducted in South Africa, Mthembu said.
"They intentionally deceived South Africans, the president, Caster and her family. The paper trail exchanged between the ASA and IAAF indicates that there had been a mutual agreement between these two bodies to conduct these tests."
Mthembu rejected claims by Chuene that the association had tried to protect Semenya.
The ANC said its investigation found that the ASA took part in the gender verification tests done on Semenya in South Africa.
"They instructed their doctor to conduct such tests and provided resources, including transport and a psychologist (who is one of their board members), to conduct counselling which ultimately was aborted."
Chuene has previously denied any knowledge of such a test.
"We are more convinced that the ASA and their doctor have a case to answer. They could have handled the matter better," Mthembu said.
"They could have taken the leadership of the country into their confidence and avoided lying with regard to their role in this saga."
A task team set up by the ruling party to investigate the Semenya debacle also rejected Chuene's claim that he sought to protect her.
"ASA should have protected Caster before they left for Berlin in Germany.
"It is not our view that they did so. The ASA must come clean to all South Africans and our government regarding their role in this saga.
"They must unconditionally apologise to everyone, including Caster and her family."
Briefing the media at ANC headquarters Luthuli House, Mthembu said the ruling party wanted the IAAF to declare the gender tests on Semenya "null and void".
"We reiterate our view that the IAAF should declare the gender verification results conducted both in South Africa and Berlin null and void."
Previously, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema said Chuene had nothing to apologise for.