The Citizen (Gauteng)
Caster in court for speeding
This time extra pace costs champion athlete.
Speed might be two-time Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya’s ally on the track but, it appears, not so on the road.
Semenya appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court last Thursday to answer to charges related to speeding.
Lumka Mahanjana, spokeswoman for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in Tshwane, yesterday confirmed this.
Semenya was reportedly nabbed on the N14 highway, in Centurion, a day earlier but Mahanjane
said she was not held in custody. Instead – as is common practice in cases involving more minor offences – she was granted bail of R500 at the Wierdabrug Police Station.
The matter was postponed so a report from the South African National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (Nicro) could be compiled. Semenya’s attorney, Greg Nott, yesterday declined to comment, but Nicro aims to facilitate alternatives to prison for some child and first-time offenders.
If found guilty, Semenya would end up with a criminal record. In terms of the laws of expungement, she would only be eligible to lodge an application after 10 years. And until then, a record could throw a spanner in the works of plans to travel overseas to compete. Were she instead enrolled in a diversion programme, she could avoid a criminal record. The case is due back in court in August.
In the meantime, Semenya is still busy fighting World Athletics’ rules for women with differences of sexual development, barring them from competing over certain distances unless they take medication to lower testosterone levels.