PRETORIA – Solidarity human rights group Africa4Palestine has welcomed the South African government’s decision to withdraw its support for Miss South Africa in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant, saying they are “thrilled” by the announcement.
Miss SA Lalela Mswane’s controversial participation in Miss Universe, scheduled to take place in the Israeli resort town of Eilat, has sparked severe backlash from local pro-Palestine groups. They have called for Miss SA to boycott the event, citing Israel’s recorded human rights abuses against Palestinians.
Speaking to Salaamedia, board member of Africa4Palestine Brian Hanekom said that the latest development has dealt a “catastrophic” blow to the Miss SA trademark. He also questioned Miss SA’s insistence on attending the event.
Meanwhile, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) criticised Minister of Arts & Culture Nathi Mthethwa for the decision and argued that he had been “noticeably absent” and being “silent about artists who appealed to him for help during the Covid lockdown”.
Julie Alli spoke to Brian Hanekom, a board member of Africa4Palestine, on News & Views. Listen to the full discussion here: