POLL | Should Miss SA Lalela Mswane boycott the Miss Universe pageant in Israel?
South Africans are divided over Miss SA Lalela Mswane's decision to participate in the Miss Universe pageant in Israel next month.
Mandla Mandela, grandson of former president Nelson Mandela, called on Mswane to boycott the event “in protest at the occupation and cruel treatment of Palestinians at the hands of the apartheid Israeli regime”.
As did the EFF, which urged the beauty queen to “stand with the oppressed” and affirm the “beauty of Palestine” by refusing to participate in the event.
The Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA) said it would be disingenuous for the contestants to go to Israel.
Radio personality DJ Warras shared a different opinion, saying it was “nonsense” that Mswane was expected to get involved in matters that have “nothing to do with us”.
“Miss SA and 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 nonsense that we have to take sides in conflicts that have nothing to do with us.”
The Miss SA organisation stood its ground on Tuesday, saying Mswane would participate in the pageant, and distanced itself from what it called a “political war of words” online.
“Anyone who wants to rob Mswane of her moment in the spotlight is unkind and short-sighted. She is a shining beacon for young women everywhere, showing them that being beautiful while being clever and educated is very possible.
“We are not a political organisation and the Miss Universe pageant is not a politically inspired event,” said the organisation.