Not a real Third World War…

September 14, 2009

South Africa threatens “3rd world war” over Semenya

KLEINMOND, South Africa (Reuters) – South Africa reacted angrily on Friday to a report that tests on its world champion runner Caster Semenya had found she was a hermaphrodite, threatening a “third world war” over the affair.

“I think it would be the third world war. We will go to the highest levels in contesting such a decision. I think it would be totally unfair and totally unjust,” said Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile.

In the currently waning days of the BBC’s journalistic integrity I personally have looked to Reuters to fill that gap that has ever been widening.

However, when I read this headline I felt like my dog had been shot right before my eyes. I was stunned and wondered how exactly that was not seen as a completely inflammatory headline aimed desperately at getting clicks.

Honestly, an offhand quote by the sports minister which was immediately preceeded by “I think it would be…” does not in any way equate to the government of South Africa “threatening” to go to war over a runner’s unfortunate genitalia.


This was just a colorful quote. Yours was the only reader complaint I found, so it seems others didn’t take it literally: GBU Editor

World champion South African runner Caster Semenya (R) dances with her mother, Dorcas Semenya, at her home after being welcomed by the villagers at Ga-mmasehlong village outside Polokwane in Limpopo August 28, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

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