Miss SA mum on bullying allegations against finalist Levern José after ex-schoolmates speak out
Miss South Africa top 12 finalist Levern José has been accused of being a bully in high school after some of her former schoolmates spoke out on social media.
José, a 23-year-old from Kimberley, Northern Cape, came under fire after the beauty pageant announced the top 12 finalists vying for the crown, with some accusing her of bullying them and leaving them “traumatised”.
Some said they were surprised José was considered a finalist in the competition due to her alleged actions in the past.
I was shocked to learn you made it to the top 12 in Miss South competition, one of the girls you use to bully at school spoke out on what you and your gang of mean girls did to her on her whatsapp status, you are truly a horrible person I'm not gonna lie https://t.co/xGJc3q718e— Anelisa 🦄 (@AnelisaJu) June 9, 2023
Not gonna lie but when I saw that girl make it to Miss SA top 30 I was asking myself how cause she was a BULLY BULLY. I wanted to comment my experience but I held myself back (& thought maybe shes changed let me just mind my own) and lo & behold the twitter streets did an exposé— Nthabiseng Salemane (@nsalemane) June 10, 2023
Since the accusations surfaced, José has deactivated comments on her Instagram and is yet to publicly address the accusations against her.
Janine Walker from Nine Squared Media, who handles media enquiries on behalf of Miss SA, told OFM News the organisation has no comment on the issue.
“I have spoken to the CEO Stephanie Weil. She and the Miss South Africa organisation have no comment to make,” she said.
Attempts to contact José and Miss SA for additional comment were unsuccessful at the time of publishing this article. Any update will be included once received.
This is not the first time a Miss SA contestant has found themselves in hot water. In 2020 Miss South Africa hopeful Bianca Schoombee withdrew her entry after racist tweets she made years earlier resurfaced. Some of Schoombee's now-deleted tweets referred to the N-word, repeatedly used the word “bitches” and body-shamed women.
“There is good governance in place to ensure Miss SA finalists and semi-finalists align with our values. Our rules state 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,” Weil said at the time.
“Unsavoury or unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, bribery, racism, sexism, slander or libel.”
The 2023 winner will be crowned at the SunBet Arena at Time Square, Pretoria, on August 13.
Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.