Leader of Iqela Lentsango: The Dagga Party of South Africa, Jeremy Acton, inspired outrage on Facebook with a post lashing out at South African middle-distance runner and Olympic medalist Caster Semenya.
The post, which calls Caster “he” throughout, argues that Semenya’s XY chromosomes prove the athlete to be both a “man” and a “fraud in athletics”.
“I do not care that this view might upset anyone. It is my Section 15 right to have this opinion and my Section 16 right to express my viewpoint,” he added.
In the post, Acton continues to say that he only supports “real women’s rights”, adding that he wants Semenya to return all titles and earnings, and that “his” records should be declared null and void.
“Wake [the f**k] up, South Africa, and rather cheer on a REAL female athlete,” Acton wrote.
He also questioned the South African press’s supposed silence on Semenya’s XY chromosomes and internal testicles.
Most news publications in South Africa and abroad have in fact reported that Semenya has XY chromosomes and internal testes. However, the conclusion that this makes Semenya a man, as opposed to a woman with the condition hyperandrogenism, appears to be Acton’s own.
Acton had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.
Acton’s post was a response to the article “What No One Is Telling You About Caster Semenya: She Has XY Chromosomes” on running blog Let’s Run.
The author argues that the mainstream coverage of Semenya’s battle against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has been misleading for reasons including an insufficient emphasis on her XY chromosomes. He said he was not trying to launch a personal attack against Semenya and that he had “the utmost respect” for her.
While the Dagga Party could not be found on the ballot for the 2019 elections following Acton’s failure to get them registered in time, he was still in the running as a potential parliamentarian following a merger between his party and Makhosi Khoza’s African Democratic Chance (ADeC).
He almost certainly will not make it to parliament, however, as ADeC had received less than 6,000 votes at the time of publication, at which point over 85% had been counted.
Khoza took to Facebook early on Friday morning to state that she and her party “graciously” accepted defeat at the polls.
Khoza further highlighted that “complaining” about the election results following nationwide voting on Wednesday “is not going to help anymore”.
Update: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said Acton had deleted the post.