Questions raised as Lalela Mswane ‘sneaks' into Israel amid travel ban

Reigning queen Lalela Mswane is there to participate in the Miss Universe pageant in less than two weeks.

Miss SA Lalela Mswane. Picture: Miss SA Official.

CAPE TOWN - As the world marks the United Nations' Day for Palestinian Solidarity, activists have expressed sadness over Miss South Africa's presence in Israel.

Reigning queen Lalela Mswane is there to participate in the Miss Universe pageant in less than two weeks.

Hashtag NotMyMissSA began trending on Twitter again this weekend after Mswane posted pictures from within Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv.

Back home, Palestinian activist Taahira Abrahams said on Monday that it was difficult seeing Miss South Africa preparing for the catwalk.

“She wouldn’t have been able to take part on that stage if people didn’t boycott apartheid [in South Africa] because that’s how the apartheid regime ended in South Africa. To smile and hold a flag in an apartheid state is extremely disappointing.”

Africa4Palestine's Braam Hanekom raised concern over how Mswane was able to enter the country, after Israel banned travel from South Africa last week.

“Israel places a travel ban on our country, but somehow in the dead of night, Lalela is able to sneak herself into Israel.”

While Miss South Africa was criticised for choosing not to boycott the event in Israel, Hanekom said more should be done to investigate the pageant's ties to international Zionist organisations.

“The owners of the trademark Miss South Africa are deeply intact with the [institutions] like the Jewish National Fund, which encourages the stealing of land in Israel.”