Parly's 'Mr' Semenya gaffe

2010-09-14 22:30

Anesca Smith

Cape Town – After months of drama to determine the gender of controversial athlete Caster Semenya, she was called a “mister” in Parliament on Tuesday.

Members of the portfolio committee on sport were seething about spelling and grammatical errors in a resolution they had to accept – including a reference to “Mr C Semenye”.

Members were lashing out at administrative officials until chairperson Butana Komphela pointed out that the document had, in fact, been drawn up by Parliament’s legal division.

The committee accepted a resolution on Tuesday to summon the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) after its management twice declined to report back about the handling of the Semenya debacle, as well as a forensic audit into the financial affairs of Athletics South Africa (ASA).

However, a concept resolution was only put forward to committee members during the morning.

Apart from the incorrect, honorific and repeated spelling errors in her surname, there was also a problem with the date on the document, as well as an incorrect interpretation of the parliamentary process around the resolution.

Cedrick Frolick (ANC) said he was “shocked” by the quality of the document.

“I am stunned by the inability to draw up a watertight technical document. The committee’s integrity is being put in a bad light.”

The resolution was sent to the speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu.