Pressure mounts as calls grow for Miss SA to boycott Miss Universe pageant in Israel

09 November 2021 - 10:30
The controversy surrounding beauty queen Lalela Mswane participating in the Miss Universe pageant in Israel continues to cause a rift online.
The controversy surrounding beauty queen Lalela Mswane participating in the Miss Universe pageant in Israel continues to cause a rift online.
Image: Supplied

The controversy surrounding beauty queen Lalela Mswane participating in the Miss Universe pageant in Israel continues to cause a rift online.

This week, the Miss SA winner came under fire, with pro-Palestine supporters urging the 24-year-old not to attend the Miss Universe pageant.

Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA) said SA’s participation was “inexcusable”.

“It’s disappointing that she as well as her organisers will be representing us, a country that knows first hand what it is like living under an occupation, in an apartheid state,” PSA wrote on Instagram.

Grandson of former late president Nelson Mandela, Mandla Mandela, also called for a boycott, saying Mswane should not attend the ceremony in Israel “in protest at the occupation and the cruel treatment of Palestinians at the hands of the apartheid Israel regime”.

According to reports, Miss Malaysia and Miss Indonesia have withdrawn from the event.

However, the Miss SA organisation said it was not pulling out of the pageant, telling TshisaLIVE it was “not getting involved in a political war of words and looks forward to watching Miss SA make the country proud on an international stage”.

The organisation’s response drew mixed reaction with many saying if Mswane does attend the ceremony “it’s going to send a message that she doesn’t care”.

However, TV and radio personality DJ Warras expressed a different opinion, saying “Miss SA and the organisers must not be bullied into taking sides in 100-year conflicts”.

“She has earned her crown and has a right to live her dream and compete for Miss Universe. This [is] nonsense that we have to take sides in conflicts that have nothing to do with us,” said the DJ.

Here is a snapshot of what many had to say:


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