South African government urges Lalela Mswane to boycott Miss Universe 2021

16 Nov 2021 | Angelique Reyes

The South African government has officially decided to withdraw support for the newly crowned Miss South Africa 2021 Lalela Mswane at the upcoming Miss Universe 2021 pageant happening next month in Israel. The decision came after growing calls for the reigning Miss South Africa, Lalela Mswane, to boycott the pageant, arguing that it is not a “politically inspired event.”

The Arts and Culture ministry has issued an official statement stating, “It has proven difficult to persuade the Miss SA pageant organisers to reconsider their decision to partake in the Miss Universe event. The atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians are well documented and government, as the legitimate representative of the people of South Africa, cannot in good conscience associate itself with such.”



The government therefore “withdraws its support” following the organisers’ “intransigence” and “disregard of advice”. Braam Hannekom, board member of Africa for Palestine, believes the government is doing the right thing as he said, “Our government is representing our people. It’s respecting our history and our past. Some of the listeners be aware that in 1976, nine participants in the Miss World beauty pageant withdrew because apartheid South Africa was participating in that pageant. Thereafter, apartheid South Africa was banned from participating.”

Meanwhile, the South African Jewish board of deputies says it is disappointed by government’s decision to withdraw support for Mswane. Professor Karen Milner, National Chair of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, says, “As citizens of South Africa, as people who want the best, both for South Africa and who are really committed to finding lasting peace in the Middle East, that statement seems to meet nobody’s needs. It’s always easy to say the majority of people support my views and the majority of people support your view. I certainly think that there are varied views, and people are entitled to have varied views on the matter.”

Stephanie Weil, CEO of the Miss South Africa pageant stated, “We all know that boycotting is not necessarily going to be the way that we are going to make a substantial difference, I truly don’t believe not attending and not being able to showcase or use one’s voice and being in that country is going to be the right thing.”

While, Miss South Africa 2021 Lalela Mswane is yet to speak up on the matter, pageant fanatics hope that she will be given a fair and supportive chance to represent the country at the international platform with full potential and that the queen can make the right decision and will be supported by the Miss Universe organization in any situation.