ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema is in hot water again following his comments about Caster Semenya.
He made the statements at a news conference in Johannesburg about Nedbank withdrawing its sponsorship from Athletics SA (ASA).
Referring to the beleaguered South African athlete, who has been in the international spotlight over controversy about her sex and gender, Malema said that the notion of a “hermaphrodite” was not African.
“Hermaphrodite, what is that? Somebody tell me, what is hermaphrodite in Pedi?,” he said.”There’s no such thing, hermaphrodite, in Pedi. So don’t impose your hermaphrodite concepts on us.”
He added: “You are either a woman or a man. When a child is born you are announcing it’s a baby girl or a baby boy. We have never heard in the village a child being projected, ‘we are given a hermaphrodite’. There’s never been such a thing in a village we come from.
“Why should we be told today our children are hermaphrodites? She’s a girl and why should we accept concepts that are imposed on us by the imperialists? We will never agree to that concept. You are either a girl or a boy and that’s it.”
Malema has been critical of the International Association of Athletics Federations’ gender testing of Semenya, but said that he supported ASA boss Leonard Chuene despite the latter publicly admitting that he lied about not knowing that Semenya had been tested in South Africa.
Chuene has refused to step down despite widespread demands that he resign because of his handling of the Semenya furore.
Semenya came to international prominence after winning gold in the 800 metres at the Berlin Athletics World Championships in August. This was in the wake of news that the International Association of Athletics Federations would test her to asses if she was really a woman.