South Africa distances itself from an Israeli event
The South African government has said it won't be part and parcel of an Israeli event due be held next month. It insists that it is distancing itself from a decision by the Miss South Africa pageant organisers to participate in the annual Miss Universe contest, due to be held in December in the occupied Palestinian town of Eilat.
The decision came after growing calls for the reigning Miss South Africa, Lalela Mswane, to boycott the pageant that is scheduled to take place in Eilat on December 12.
Local beauty pageant organisers have been adamant that the recently crowned Miss South Africa should go to the event, arguing the Miss Universe pageant is not a “politically inspired event”.
“It has proven difficult to persuade the Miss SA pageant organisers to reconsider their decision to partake in the Miss Universe event,” the arts and culture ministry said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the South African government has urged its athletes to withdraw from contests in Israel, amid calls for a boycott to show support for the Palestinian people.
Pro-Palestine organisations have also called made similar calls for athletes to not participate in such events to condemn Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people.
South Africa has a long history supporting the Palestinian people, and Israel's treatment of Palestinian reminds many in the country of apartheid crimes by whites against its Black population.