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Athletics South Africa joins Semenya’s appeal over CAS verdict2 minutes read

Semenya announced on Wednesday that she would appeal the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling

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South African Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya celebrates after the 1.500m senior women final at the ASA Senior Championships at Germiston Athletics stadium, in Germiston

Athletics South Africa (ASA) said on Friday it had joined Caster Semenya’s appeal against the ruling that currently prevents the double Olympic champion from running her preferred distance races unless she takes testosterone-suppressant medication.

Semenya announced on Wednesday that she would appeal the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling that supported the IAAF’s rule that means XY chromosome athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) can race in distances from 400m to a mile only if they take the medication and reach a reduced level.

Semenya has asked the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to set aside CAS’s decision, which she said did not consider medical protocols and uncertain health consequences of taking such medication.

Athletics South Africa said in a statement that, once it had received full details of the CAS award, it would file its own appeal through Swiss lawyers.

“ASA is aware that our athlete, Caster Semenya, has lodged her own appeal against the CAS award with the request that the IAAF regulations be wholly suspended pending the finalisation of the appeal,” the statement said.

“ASA has informed the Swiss Federal Court that insofar as it participated in the CAS arbitration and to the extent that Ms Semenya is a registered member of the ASA, the federation wishes to be considered as an interested party in the stay proceedings, and in the appeal against the award and will file its appeal papers shortly.

“Accordingly, ASA wishes to confirm that it will participate in the stay proceedings and in the appeal before the Swiss Federal Court.”

Semenya, who previously took testosterone suppressants and saw her performance level drop off before the IAAF rules were lifted, says she will not go through the process again.

Testosterone is a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and haemoglobin and the IAAF said its own research showed it gave a significant endurance advantage to athletes in the 400m-mile range.

The CAS verdict was highly controversial, with many high-profile current and former athletes lining up on both sides of the debate.

Semenya won her last competitive 800 metre race at the Doha Diamond League on May 3 and if she is unable to overturn the CAS verdict, or gain a suspension, she will not be able to defend her two-lap title at the world championships in Qatar in September.

Southern Africa

Warder Caught Smuggling Drugs, Cellphones Into South African Prison

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A South African prison official was on Friday arrested for trying to smuggle contraband into a correctional centre in the country.

A statement by the department of correctional services in the Eastern Cape said the incident happened at St Albans Medium B Correctional Centre.

It said in a statement the alleged incident happened on Friday morning during a routine search at the entrance to the centre.

National Task Team (NTT) security officials were conducting a routine search of people at the access control gate when they noticed the vehicle.

The official approached the gate, but then turned the car around and drove away when he noticed that searches were being conducted, the department said.

Instruction was given to NTT officials to chase the vehicle and escort him back to the access control.

The drugs and items confiscated included 120 Mandrax tablets, various telephone cellphone starter packs, mobile phones, earphones, cellphone chargers and USB cables. A case was opened at SAPS Kabega Park.

The official was subsequently arrested on Friday and he is currently in police custody. He is due to appear in court on Monday.

“Any person, whether it is a member of the public or a departmental official, who colludes with offenders in the contravention of this mandate will be brought to book.

“We would like to applaud the commitment of the departmental officials who were not hesitant to apprehend one of their own.

“This speaks highly of the integrity and their commitment to service excellence,” the department said.

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Somalia Gets $9.26M For 300,000 Flood Victims

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The Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) has released $9.26m to scale up priority life-saving assistance to nearly 300,000 people affected by floods in Somalia.

Adam Abdelmoula, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, said this in a statement issued on Thursday in Mogadishu.

Abdelmoula said a total of $8.18 million will be allocated towards priority interventions to provide food assistance, non-food items and emergency shelter, support for health facilities as well as Water services, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

Abdelmoula said $1.08 million of the allocation would support integrated health and nutrition activities as well as integrated education, child protection and WASH activities.

“Funding from the SHF will enable aid organisations to scale up and sustain life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable flood-affected communities in the worst-affected areas in the country,” he said.

SHF is a multi-donor country-based pooled mechanism created in 2010 to allocate funding for the most urgent life-saving interventions in Somalia.

SHF funds will also support critical protection services with emphasis on child protection and gender-based violence as well as support national and international non-governmental partners operating in Banadir, Hiraan, Lower Juba, Middle Shabelle and Lower Shabelle regions.

“As the Deyr season persists, continuous donor funding will be needed to boost humanitarian operations and support recovery across Somalia,” Abdelmoula said.

He said the funds would also support the Logistics Cluster to ensure timely delivery of essential humanitarian goods and personnel in hard-to-reach and underserved areas.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO), more than 650,000 Somalis had been forced to flee their homes since January due to flash and riverine flooding across Somalia.

Abdelmoula said vulnerable communities, due to persistent climatic shocks, locust infestation and the COVID-19 pandemic, are already facing severe food and water scarcity.

He said that those communities were at risk of deadly communicable diseases such as cholera outbreak and acute watery diarrhea (AWD).

“With limited resources and funding, the humanitarian agencies in Somalia are overstretched and in need of urgent support to provide timely and deliberate response,” he added.

According to the UN, the 2020 Deyr rainy season has started with moderate to significantly heavy rains reported in Puntland and central regions of Hiraan, Bakool, Galgaduud, Mudug, Nugaal and southern areas of Sool region.

It said the communities living in the riverine areas along Juba and Shabelle rivers are at high risk of flooding as heavy rains are expected to continue in November and December.

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Armed Robbers Raid Court In Zimbabwe

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Some daredevil armed robbers stormed a high court in Zimbabwe and attempted to break into the registry safe, local media reported on Monday.

The robbers – numbering eight – had raided the Bulawayo High Court on Sunday and tried to break open the registry safe using a grinder.

The robbers gained entry into the court’s criminal registry after attacking and disarming and injuring police officers manning the premises.

Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident and said investigations are underway.

The incident occurred at about 4 a.m. and the suspects were reportedly armed with pistols.

Bulawayo is Zimbabwe’s second largest city.

“We are investigating an armed robbery case which occurred at the Bulawayo High Court, Sunday morning at 4 a.m.

“It is said about eight suspects went to the court and attacked two officers who were on duty and these suspects were armed with pistols.

“After attacking them, they blindfolded one of the officers. They then tried to force open the court’s main safe to the criminal registry’s office using a key.

“After failing, they tried again to use a grinder and, in the process, it is alleged that they were making phone calls,” Nyathi said.

He said after failing in their attempts, they tied the hands and legs of one of the police officers.

The officer who sustained some serious injuries was taken to hospital.

“They attacked him using their weapons. He is being treated at a hospital in Bulawayo, but we cannot reveal where he is receiving treatment,” Nyathi said.

“These guys had inside information and we want to establish the motive behind the robbery and the attack on the officers.

“We are, therefore, leaving no stone unturned in our quest to get to the bottom of this case and apprehend the suspects.

“The law will definitely take its course,” he added.

Judicial Service Commission spokesperson Rumbidzai Takawira said the commission had deployed a team from Harare to assess the situation.

“`We have a team that is going there to ascertain what really transpired and we can only have information tomorrow (Monday),” said Takawira.

A legal expert who declined to be named said an exhibit safe room can contain files or prosecution documents for suspects appearing before the courts.

“A crime registry can store exhibits which include weapons used by criminals in committing crimes.

“The exhibits are very vital in the prosecution process and probably these robbers wanted to steal these exhibits or destroy important documents,” said the expert.

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