Mandla Mandela calls for boycott of Miss Universe pageant in Israel: ’There is nothing beautiful about occupation’

Man speaks at a podium.

Nelson Mandela's grandson and chief of Mvezo, Mandla Mandela, has called on Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane and all former Miss South Africa winners to boycott the Miss Universe event scheduled to take place in Israel. Photograph: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Oct 18, 2021


CAPE TOWN - Following the crowning of Miss South Africa 2021 on Saturday, former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela has urged South Africans to boycott the Miss Universe event to be held in Israel.

Lalela Mswane, from Richards Bay, who was crowned at the Grand West Arena in Cape Town, will receive R1-million and a further R3-million in sponsorships and prizes.

The 24-year-old ballerina and model became the 63rd Miss SA and is set to compete at the Miss Universe 2021 pageant in the Israeli resort city of Eilat in December.

“I intend to live by every word I have expressed and to serve, lead and represent our beautiful nation to the best of my abilities,” Mswane said after winning the competition.

Meanwhile, Inkosi Mandela said in a press statement on Sunday that he congratulates Mswane on her crowning.

However, after learning the location of the Miss Universe event, he called on her and all former Miss South Africa winners to boycott that event in protest at the “occupation and the cruel treatment of Palestinians at the hands of apartheid Israel regime”.

Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane and Moratwe Masima Zimi Mabunzi.with Beatrice Luigi Gomez of Cebu Miss Universe. Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency (ANA)

“There is nothing beautiful about occupation, brutality and institutionalised discrimination against the Palestinian people,” said Inkosi Mandela.

He added that the brutal punishment and harassment meted out to Palestinians on a daily basis was horrific, detestable and a crime against humanity.

Inkosi Mandela further said the harassment of Palestinians should be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and that Israel's occupation was no less despicable than apartheid in South Africa.

Inkosi Mandela also welcomed Palestinian rights activist Muna El Kurd to South Africa, who had shared her personal stories of suffering on social media. Last month, Muna and her twin brother Mohammed El Kurd were named in TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people on the planet.

The twins and their family faced forced displacement from their home in East Jerusalem.

African News Agency (ANA)