Miss South Africa embroiled in 'glove' drama

06 July 2017 - 12:10
By Karishma Thakurdin and CHRIZELDA KEKANA
Miss SA Demi Leigh Peters.
Image: Jacques_Du_Preez Miss SA Demi Leigh Peters.

Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has again found herself at the centre of controversy after she posted pictures of herself wearing gloves while serving food to children at the Ikageng Community Centre, sparking debate about whether she was doing it for hygiene reasons or if the wearing of gloves was "racially motivated."

Social media was divided with some users tracking down images of the beauty queen with white children sans gloves and comparing it to her at the centre wearing gloves. At the same time images of Nel-Peters with visiting other centres with black children, also not wearing gloves, have also been put out.

Nel-Peters defended her actions and explained that everyone who participated in the soup drive was given the gloves to wear.

β€œI just want to clear something. All the volunteers on site wore gloves because we honestly thought that it’s the right thing to do while working with food. We were handing out food to young kids and that was the only intention with wearing the gloves, it was purely to be as hygienic as possible. I really feel like my intention were really misunderstood but I would like to apologise if I offended anyone," she said on social media. 

Miss South Africa spokesperson Claudia Henkel said Nel-Peters had no malicious intentions.

"Our intentions were completely innocent going into the home. We were handed the gloves together with all other volunteers as we walked in and it was purely for hygiene purposes. The thing is it was such a busy day, so we hopped from preparing food to playing with the children. We did not think that the pictures would cause such a hype on Twitter as they were really innocent," she said.

According to a statement issued by Miss South Africa the purpose of the visit was to help prepare and serve a hot meal to 300 people as part of an ongoing campaign. 

The statement went on to explain that Demi did not wear disposable gloves throughout the entire visit. 

"All volunteers, including our staff members, wore gloves during the food preparation. It was mandatory. It was such a successful day and I am sorry that the focus is now on the gloves rather than the positive impact it had,” said programme director Carol Dyantyi. 

In December 2016 Nel_peters visited Lig Kinderbediening children's home where a Christmas party was held for children. Images show the beauty queen feeding children without gloves.