SA Zionist group backs Miss SA Lalela Mswane's decision to go to Israel

On Sunday, the Department of Arts and Culture announced government is disassociating itself from reigning queen Lalela Mswane's decision to participate in the Miss Universe in Israel next month.

Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane. Picture: @Official_MissSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Miss South Africa's participation in Miss Universe to be held in Israel is in the spotlight on Monday after government withdrew its support.

On Sunday, the Department of Arts and Culture announced government is disassociating itself from reigning queen Lalela Mswane's decision to participate in the pageant next month.

The Miss SA organisation is adamant she should participate, because the international competition is not a "politically-inspired event", but those with pro-Palestine views disagree.

The Al Jama-ah political party is in favour of government's decision to withdraw support for Miss SA's participation in Miss Universe.

The party sees the pageant as just another opportunity for Israel to whitewash its violation of Palestinian human rights.

Palestinian Solidarity Groups said it was a proud moment to witness government reflecting the will of South African people by upholding the cultural boycott in support of the liberation struggle in Palestine.

However, the South African Zionist Federation's national chairman Rowan Polovin takes a different view.

“We are appalled that the South African government is self-sabotaging our country’s hopes and dreams of participating and shining on an international stage just because it happens to take place in Israel.”

He said Israel was being singled out and government was being morally inconsistent, because South Africa participated in numerous international events with many in undemocratic and totalitarian regimes.

"Let her go to Israel, witness the beauty of Israel’s democracy, multiculturalism and co-existence between peoples, and bring that example back for our government and beloved country to follow," the group said.