'One person won't make a change' - No boycott of Miss Universe says Miss SA CEO
- Newly-crowned Miss South Africa winner Lalela Mswane will compete at the Miss Universe competition in Israel next month
- There have been calls from various organisations for countries to boycott the international pageant
Organisers of the Miss South Africa pageant have confirmed newly crowned winner Lalela Mswane will compete at the Miss Universe competition being held in Israel next month.
That's despite a swath of backlash against the move and calls for competitors to boycott the event.
Stephanie Wiel, CEO of Miss South Africa told 702's Clement Manyathela that while says Mswane is not contractually obliged to participate in the pageant, she will be attending.
We all know that boycotting is not necessarily going to be the way that we are going to make a substantial difference.Stephanie Wiel, CEO - Miss South Africa
One person is not going to make a change, 70 other countries are attending this event. If she isn't there she doesn't have a voice. Rather be there a make a change.Stephanie Wiel, CEO - Miss South Africa
In a statement, the organisation said:
"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."
Weil added, “Mswane has spoken out openly about being bullied as a child. She will not be bullied as an adult against fulfilling her ambition”.
The Miss SA organisations insists that Lalela will compete in Israel and everyone who is against that decision is basically a "unkind and short-sighted". pic.twitter.com/vYCmOy0boN— MPHO 🌻 (@MphoMoalamedi) November 9, 2021
In a statement last week, Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela, grandson of former President Nelson Mandela, called on former Miss South Africa winners to boycott the event in protest over the "occupation and cruel treatment of Palestinians at the hands of apartheid Israel regime".
On Monday 'Miss SA' and 'Lalela' were again trending on Twitter, with many Tweeps calling out the beauty queen and the organisation.
Clement: “boycotting does work as we’ve seen in South Africa.”— Lesego Tlhabi (@LesegoTlhabi) November 10, 2021
Stephanie: “One person isn’t going to make a change.” pic.twitter.com/wpabTxLtCK
Mswane will join competitors from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the Miss Universe pageant in Israel in December, those countries also ignoring calls for a boycott.