Somizi, Manaka Ranaka Speak Up For Caster Semenya After Male Swimmer Who Altered His Gender Wins Women’s Competition

Somizi, Manaka Ranaka Speak Up For Caster Semenya After White Male Swimmer Who Altered His Gender Wins Women’s Competition

Somizi Mhlongo and Manaka Ranaka [Photos: Somizi Mhlongo and Manaka Ranaka via Instagram]



South African media personalities Somizi Mhlongo and Manaka Ranaka have condemned the decision to ban Caster Semenya from competing against women athletes. The two highlighted the authorities’ double standards after a white US swimmer who recently altered his gender from male to female won a women’s swimming competition.


Generations: The Legacy actress Manaka Ranaka, who plays the role of Lucy Diale, spoke on the matter on Monday. Ranaka shared a message which said, 

Something Interesting Is Unfolding In The World Of Sports, So Lia Thomas, born a man and waits until she’s 21 before she decides she’s a woman. Recently celebrated as the best swimmer on Earth. 

Caster Semenya born a woman, a SUPREME female Athlete who has faced disgusting indignities. BANNED because she doesn’t want to take testosterone medication. 

Caster Semenya can’t compete with women but Trans women compete with Women.

To this message, the actress added, 

Happy Human Rights Day MaSatafrika…

No human rights detected here!!! Its the system that makes us hate each other with this type of inconsistencies. Clearly its still a skin colour thing!!! @castersemenya800m I’m right behind you sis. Love your strength and honesty. You’ll always be OUR best to ever do it. 


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To this, Idols SA judge Somizi Mhlongo added, 

Msunu nje,


Somizi, Manaka Ranaka Speak Up For Caster Semenya After White Male Swimmer Who Altered His Gender Wins Women’s Competition
Caster Semenya [Photos: Caster Semenya via Instagram]


Semenya is a winner of two Olympic gold medals and three World Championships in the women’s 800 metres. She also won a bronze medal in the 1500 metres at the 2017 World Championships.  

However, in 2019, World Athletics introduced new rules which banned women like Semenya from participating in 400m, 800m, and 1500m events against other women unless they take medication to suppress their testosterone levels. Semenya has since challenged the rules at the European Court of Human Rights. The case is still outstanding. 

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Semenya’s case has come under renewed scrutiny after a US transgender athlete sparked controversy and outrage after winning a women’s swimming competition last week.  


Somizi, Manaka Ranaka Speak Up For Caster Semenya After White Male Swimmer Who Altered His Gender Wins Women’s Competition



Lia Thomas from the University of Pennsylvania ignited outrage after winning Thursday’s 500-yard freestyle race at the NCAA swimming championship. The 22-year-old, born Will Thomas, became the first transgender athlete to be crowned an NCAA champion after transitioning from male to female. During the final, Thomas defeated Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant.

Thomas, who used to swim for the men’s team as recently as 2020, came out as transgender in late 2019 and started transitioning using hormone replacement therapy. Following the gender alteration, Thomas joined the women’s swimming team in 2021.

Thomas’ win at the NCAA championship has sparked controversy as some accuse her of having an unfair advantage over biological females.

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Before the transition, Will Thomas was reportedly ranked number 462 as a male swimmer. After the gender alteration, Lia Thomas now ranks number 1 as a female swimmer.

Following the recent events at the NCAA championships, women’s groups and individuals have been protesting against the decision to allow Thomas to compete against women.

Online tens of thousands of people have also expressed their displeasure. They argue that it is unfair for Thomas to compete against women and point to the alleged discrepancy between his performance as a man and a woman.

Some called for the authorities to have a separate competition for transgender athletes so that they do not have an unfair advantage over biological females.

However, some have come out in full support of Thomas, arguing that she is not breaking any rules and has a right to compete as whoever she wants to be.


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