'She wants to go & represent her country': Miss SA CEO on Lalela Mswane & Israel

There have been calls from various organisations for countries to boycott the international pageant in Israel later this year, over the Israel/Palestine conflict.

FILE: Lalela Mswane was crowned Miss South Africa 2021. Picture: Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The announcement by the Miss South Africa organisation to send newly crowned Miss SA Lalela Mswane to Miss Universe taking place in Israel has caused an uproar across the country.

There have been calls from various organisations for countries to boycott the international pageant in Israel later this year, over the Israel/Palestine conflict as a way to show solidarity with Palestinians, the way they did with oppressed South Africans during apartheid.

The Miss South Africa organisation issued a statement saying they "are not a political organisation and the Miss Universe pageant is not a politically-inspired event".

Speaking to 702's Clement Manyathela on Wednesday, Miss SA CEO Stephanie Weil said while Mswane was not contractually obliged to participate in the pageant, she was going.

"The issue at hand is whether she wants to go or not and its a decision not taken lightly, it was after much consultation with both her and myself and the Miss Universe organisation talking about whether she wants to go or not and the truth is she does want to go and represent her country."

Weil said she would not engage in the political matter and she didn't know what Msweni would say at the pageant.

"Miss South Africa and Miss Universe are around the empowerment of women and women coming together to bring about change by using their voices.

"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."

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