Miss SA hopefuls under fire after more old tweets resurface: what went down

22 May 2020 - 07:11
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Miss SA hopeful Bianca Schoombee has withdrawn from the Miss SA pageant after controversial tweets she posted as a teen emerged.
Image: Supplied Miss SA hopeful Bianca Schoombee has withdrawn from the Miss SA pageant after controversial tweets she posted as a teen emerged.

Miss SA 2020 is off to a rocky start following the resurfacing of old tweets from two entrants.

Here is a wrap of what happened.

Bianca Schoombee

Earlier this week, entrant Bianca Schoombee made the trending list for racist tweets that she posted in 2014.

Some of Schoombee's now-deleted tweets referred to the N-word, repeatedly used the word “bitches” and body-shamed women.

Before deactivated her account, the model withdrew from the beauty competition and issued an apology that was rejected by many, including EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and media personality Somizi.

In her apology, Schoombee said the tweets were “from six years ago, when I was 14”. 

“I would like to profusely apologise for putting this out into the universe,” she said.

SYNC Models, an agency claiming to represent Schoombee, said the 20-year-old "had grown so much as a woman from who she was as a teenager". 

Oneida Cooper

On Wednesday another entrant, Oneida Cooper, was also dragged for her old tweets dating back to 2012.

Cooper's now-deleted tweets referred to women as “dumb b****es” and also used the N-word.

In her defence, Cooper alluded that she was not white and “racially ambiguous". 

She also cited Steve Biko‘s definition of what being black meant in a race-afflicted SA.

Miss SA distances itself

The organisers of Miss SA have distanced themselves from the entrants, saying they had not yet "evaluated" any of this year's entries.

“The organisers have not yet announced its panel of judges nor evaluated any of the entries received. We only assess entrants once the deadline for submissions has closed,” said CEO Stephanie Weil in a statement.

“Once we have a selection of potential semifinalists, we run the necessary background checks. There is good governance in place to ensure that Miss SA finalists and semi-finalists align with our values.

“Our rules state that any semifinalist or finalist may not have been involved in any unsavoury or unethical incidents or conduct that may bring the organisers or the Miss SA pageant into disrepute.

“Unsavoury or unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, bribery, racism, sexism, slander or libel.”

Entries for the 2020 pageant close at midnight on May 31.

Reactions pour in

Many social media users have slammed Cooper, saying that based on her views, she was not fit to represent South Africans.