Comcerned South African protesters, protested outside the offices of Miss South Africa beauty pageant organizers on Friday, due to their continued nonchalance and going ahead to participate in the Miss Universe show in December in Israel.
“We are protesting due to the fact that the Miss SA organization refuses to withdraw Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane from the Miss Universe pageant and boycott it,’’ Noor Ahmad of the Palestine Solidarity Alliance Youth League (PSAYL) told A news Agency.
The South African government earlier announced that; it is withdrawing support for Mswane due to her decision to take part in the pageant.
South African and Palestinian relationship
South Africa opposes Israel’s occupation of Palestine and said it cannot in good conscience associate itself with the event on December 12.
“The aim of the protest is to keep applying pressure on the Miss SA organization to boycott the pageant. Lalela hasn’t left South Africa for Israel yet so there is still time for her to withdraw; and for the Miss SA organization to boycott the pageant,’’ said Ahamad.
She said also, that South Africans need to support the call for a cultural, academic, art; and other forms of boycotts against Israel as part of the international solidarity to defeat Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Several civil society organizations in South Africa endorsed and supported the protest.
Chief Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela, a grandson of the late Nelson Mandela; went ahead to remind South Africans that international solidarity movements helped South Africa in its struggle against apartheid.
“We are calling on our government to withdraw the name of South Africa from being used at the upcoming pageant in Israel,”; Mandela, who is also an MP for the ruling African National Congress, told reporters at the demonstration. He said neither should a South Africa flag be flown at the show nor should the name of South Africa be associated with the pageant.
Chief Mandela also reminded South Africa of Palestinian support in all forms during their struggle against apartheid and South Africa now has a duty to stand with them as they face brutal oppression under Israel.