African jailed for running as woman
HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) – A Zimbabwean court has jailed a man masquerading as a female athlete, court officials said on Thursday.
Samukeliso Sithole – a triple jumper and runner who competed as a woman at several international sports events – was convicted on charges of impersonation and offending the dignity of a woman athlete who undressed in his presence, unaware he was a man.
“He was sentenced to four years imprisonment, but six months were suspended. Effectively he will serve three-and-a-half years,” said a court official in Kwekwe, central Zimbabwe, where the case was heard.
Sithole won a gold medal at a regional tournament in Botswana in June last year and won five medals at a youth championship in Mauritius. He also competed in javelin and shot-put competitions.
Sithole told the court at his first appearance that he had both female and male organs and that he lived as a woman after consulting a traditional healer. A medical examination showed that he was a man.