SA reacts to Miss SA equating calls to boycott pageant in Israel as ‘bullying’

10 November 2021 - 10:00
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

Author Janine Jellars, satirist Lesego “Coconut Kelz” Tlhabi and actress Florence Masebe have joined hundreds who have reacted with disgust to the Miss SA organisation's response to calls that Lalela Mswane boycott the Miss Universe pageant in Israel.

Miss SA organisers issued a statement on Tuesday confirming Lalela will participate in the international pageant despite most South Africans being against the idea. They went on to equate such calls with “bullying” Lalela.

“Anyone who wants to rob Lalela of her moment in the spotlight is unkind and short-sighted. She is the 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,” read the statement from Miss SA Organisation CEO Stephanie Weil.

Their statement caused a hectic reaction on the TL and saw a lot of people calling out the organisation for wanting to renounce being “political” when it suits their agenda.

Janine  said: “Why is Miss SA framing the conversation around Miss SA going to Israel as 'bullying'? People are simply saying: If you are going to represent SA, then represent the values of SA. Is the Miss SA Organisation not aware of the official SA stance on Palestinian liberation?”

“To try to claim that @Official_MissSA is apolitical is also disingenuous, especially as the pageant has recently starting using the framing of 'the personal is the political' in its drive to further inclusivity and representation. You are sending a black South African woman to represent SA on stage in an apartheid state. If you don't understand how tone deaf that is, then I don't even know what to say.” 

Though there were a few people pulling behind Miss SA who expressed their opinions as to why she should go, most people on social media focused calling out the organisation's “hypocrisy”.

Here are some of the top Twitter reactions “equating” calls for Lalela to boycott Miss Universe as “bullying”:


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