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- Miss SA 2021 Lalela Mswane has released a statement as she prepares for the Miss Universe pageant.
- The international pageant has been shrouded in controversy as calls grow for Miss SA to withdraw from the competition taking place in Israel, which has been accused of committing atrocities against Palestinians.
- “Being Miss South Africa is not only an honour but also a huge responsibility and I am determined to serve our country proudly in the best way that I can,” Lalela wrote.
Miss South Africa 2021 Lalela Mswane has released a statement on social media as she prepares to head to the Miss Universe pageant.
The international pageant has been shrouded in controversy as pressure mounts for beauty queens, including Miss SA, to withdraw from the competition taking place in Israel, which is accused of committing atrocities against Palestinians.
“It is with so much gratitude that I prepare to represent my beautiful South Africa at the 70th Miss Universe competition,” Lalela shared on Saturday.
The statement continued: “Being Miss South Africa is not only an honour but also a huge responsibility and I am determined to serve our country proudly in the best way that I can.”
“I stand today as an empowered woman,” Lalela said, “because of so many before me who fought for our voices to be heard. I feel my duty is to do the same for the women of the past, the women of today and the women to come.
“There is no greater time to shed light on issues affecting women, to choose courage over comfort and to be steadfast in my beliefs regarding the advancement of women and our rights. I view my participation in the pageant as a unique opportunity to not only do just that but to also be part of, and hopefully contribute to, a process of dialogue and peace.”
In November, SA government released a statement, saying that it has withdrawn support for the Miss South Africa organisation after it was unable to convince organisers to boycott the Miss Universe pageant.
As concerns grow regarding a new strain of the coronavirus, news broke on Thursday that Israel had restricted travel to and from South Africa and some neighbouring countries.
Channel24 has reached out to the Miss South Africa organisation, questioning whether or not these restrictions will affect Lalela’s plans to partake in the Miss Universe pageant, but has not received comment.
The 2021 Miss Universe pageant takes place on 12 December in Eilat, Israel.
This article will be updated should further information become available.
Read Lalela’s full statement below: