3.09.2005

Neither 'Witch' Nor 'Doctor'...Discuss

Witch-Doctor’s Spell Backfired, Says Transvestite

from The Herald UK

A transvestite who is being prosecuted after winning medals and titles in women's athletics events has blamed a witch-doctor's faulty spell.

A Bulawayo court heard that Samukaliso Sithole, a Zimbabwean who competed in domestic and regional competitions for women, was actually a man. Sithole faces charges of psychological offence, reported the state-run Herald newspaper.

Prosecutors allege Sithole offended the dignity and sexuality of a woman who befriended him, confided in him, and felt comfortable being naked around him, while believing him to be female.

Sithole was identified to her as a man by an acquaintance when he was among a group of women preparing to travel by train to an athletics meeting. Sithole tried to sprint away but was caught, and police supervised a medical exam.

Sithole told the court he was born congenitally deformed. A tribal healer, known in the west as a witchdoctor, gave him "female status" but Sithole said the spell did not work properly because his family did not pay the healer's full fee. The Zimbabwe Athletics Association say he could be stripped of titles and prize money.

The world athletics body no longer conducts gender determination tests, and the Olympic movement ceased these in 1999. The International Olympic Committee legally recognises transsexuals provided hormone therapy ceased at least two years ago.

The 1932 Olympic 100 metres champion, Stella Walsh, was exposed as a man when she died in 1980. Her world records stayed on the books.

The Press sisters, Tamara and Irina, won five Olympic titles for the Soviets, but disappeared after sex tests were introduced.

Richard Raskind, an average male tennis player, became Renee Richards, lost to Virginia Wade, and is now a consultant to Martina Navratilova.

Heidi Kreiger used so many drugs to become European shot champion that she's now a man.

Zdenka Koubkova, a Czech who twice broke the world 800m record in 1934, decided the following year she was a man.

Ewa Klobuskova won European sprint titles in 1966, but later proved to be male.

Transsexual golfer Mianne Bagger, was cleared recently to play in the Women's British Open.

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