Parliament lauds Olympians

Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula congratulated SA's Olympians in a Parliament sitting.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula poses with Olympic gold medallists Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh on 9 August 2012. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday congratulated South Africa's Olympians at a joint sitting in Parliament.

He lauded the country's six medal winners on their success.

Swimmers and gold medal winners Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh both sat in the gallery.

Mbalula said July and August had been two of the most successful months since the country's re-admittance to the international sports arena in 1992.

"Our athletes and all our national teams have against all odds made our people proud and our country a winning nation".

He said Parliament acknowledged the determination of the 125 South African Olympians who went to London.

"We are proud of you."

Mbalula also specifically congratulated 800m sprinter Caster Semenya, who finished second in her race.

He mentioned the hardships she has had to endure over questions about her gender.

During the sitting, opposition parties also called for increased funding for the training of SA athletes.

The Freedom Front Plus's Pieter Mulder said, "We cannot afford, like in cricket for example, to lose our best players. Currently, many South Africans are playing for Britain."

The African Christian Democratic Party's Kenneth Meshoe said it was time to praise sports stars for their accomplishments.

"Government has honoured many dead people, but now is the time to start honouring the living champions."