Alright people, if reports from Australia are anything to go by, then it’s time we talk about the birds and the bees. Straight talk, as John McCain would put it.
You see, word from down under — or is it up there in our case — is that tests conducted by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) have revealed that Caster Semenya, South Africa’s golden girl, does not have a womb or ovaries. Instead she has internal testes and experts have declared her a hermaphrodite – a person with both male and female sexual organs.
We at Newsmakers & Noisemakers think that every step of this saga has been handled atrociously. A few weeks ago we made clear our opinion that the whole testing business should have been done at a much earlier stage of Caster’s athletics career.
Now, however, the issue has moved beyond that. Some politicians and sports administrators in South Africa have since hijacked Caster’s cause.
Calling her “our golden girl” and appearing with Caster in press conferences will not help her much. What she needs right now is to be fully informed about her medical condition and how it affects her standing with the IAAF. Perhaps this girl has grown up her entire life without knowing exactly what was happening with her body. The time has come for her to know.
Moreover, this is no longer only about Caster. Thousands of other people with Caster’s condition are watching in silence to see how this case is handled. Denying that Caster’s situation requires special attention would be denying that there is a medical problem here which can be addressed.
The IAAF and South Africa in particular must now accept Caster’s condition and prove to other hermaphrodites like her that there is a place for them in this world.
One way would be for the IAAF to possibly add a third category in its competitions, for intersex people. Such a category would include athletes whose gender cannot be ascertained.
The likes of Julius Malema, on the other hand, need to be educated on the role of science and fact in modern civilisation. Gone are the days when politicians would appeal to emotion while throwing fact and figures out of the window. Malema could well be perpetuating stigma against individuals with ambiguous gender, instead of helping them.
South Africans are above this kind of populism, we’d like to believe.
As our company’s records will show, we at Newsmakers & Noisemakers are not one of the investors in MKM.
However, we do empathise with those thousands of depositors whose moolah is locked up in the troubled company.
Our position is that the issue has dragged on for too long and it is our hope that the meeting to be held next Saturday between government and central bank representatives and directors of the company will be fruitful.
Our biggest fear is that the process of “data capturing” will drag on and on. This must not be allowed.
In business, time is money and the MKM investors are losing a lot of it.
While it has been reported that both the central bank and MKM will submit their reports on how much is owed to depositors in the High Court next month, we cannot help but get the feeling that this issue is going to drag on for months on end.
It is in the best interests of all involved that the issue of MKM is brought to its logical conclusion.
How the matter of MKM is handled will affect perceptions in the mind of the public, especially where it pertains to protection of depositors’ funds.