The Department f Sport, Arts and Culture in Solidarity with Caster Semenya ahead of the Grand Chamber Hearing

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) stands in solidarity with unwavering commitment to seeking justice for Caster Mokgadi Semenya in collaboration with the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF),, and various other stakeholders. The DSAC notes the hearing scheduled for Wednesday, 15 May 2024, where the Grand Chamber will evaluate the matter presented by the Swiss government in relation to the European Court of Human Rights’ July 2023 decision.

Caster Semenya has endured years of unfair discrimination based on her gender. The 2019 regulations imposed by the World Athletics body created significant challenges for athletes with Differences in Sex Development (DSD) who wish to compete in their chosen sport. This ruling reaffirmed the international legal requirement for World Athletics to refrain from engaging in discriminatory practices, barring exceptional circumstances.

The referral to the Grand Chamber is in accordance with the violations identified by the Court in Switzerland vs Caster Mokgadi Semenya. These violations encompassed a breach of the prohibition on discrimination, a denial of the right to an effective remedy, and a failure to respect for private life.

The DSAC Acting Director-General, Dr Cynthia Khumalo, expressed the department's steadfast support, stating; “The department is committed to advocating for fairness and equality in sport.  As the country celebrates 30 Years of Democracy, every athlete, regardless of their gender or physical attributes, should have the right to compete without facing unjust obstacles. We trust that the Grand Chamber's judgment will uphold these principles and deliver a positive outcome for Caster and all athletes affected by similar challenges.”

Government through the department has consistently advocated and supported initiatives aimed at resolving this matter equitably. The DSAC remains optimistic that the Grand Chamber's decision will reflect the values of justice, inclusivity and diversity that underpin the South African sporting sector.

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Mr. Litha Mpondwana |Media Liaison Officer: Office of the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture │ Cell: 064 802 3003 │ Email: