Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has shown his full support for track star Caster Semenya, as she prepares to run in the women’s 800-metre qualifier at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.
Mbalula criticised international media, who have raised questions about her eligibility to compete in women’s events at the Games.
The former world champion has a condition that elevates her testosterone levels, but Mbalula explains that athletics body International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) cleared Semenya to compete.
What I don't understand is the over emphasis on this issue, as if it has not been concluded. If Caster Semenya was illegal in the Olympics, the IAAF would have cut her out of it.— Fikile Mbalula, Sports Minister
Mbalula says that the world needs to confront the difficult conversation about gender identity in a dignified way.
The focus is on winning the gold and the journey starts today.— Fikile Mbalula, Sports Minister
Listen to the full conversation from The Midday Report with Stephen Grootes:
Mbalula is one of millions of South Africans who have used social media in a show of support for Semenya:
This article first appeared on 702 : Mbalula shuts down detractors and rallies behind Caster Semenya