On Monday evening, the Miss South Africa organisation announced the top 30 finalists.
Among them is Thulani Ndzotyana, who hails from New Brighton in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape.
The social media manager and model didn’t receive a warm welcome from fellow South African Twitter users who dug up her past.
She is accused of allegedly being a rape apologist, by siding with her then rugby boyfriend Khwezi Mafu, who allegedly raped a teenage girl in December 2017.
Mafu spent two months in jail before being released on R10 000 bail. The case was withdrawn in March 2019 after prosecutor Kenny van Biljon told the Port Elizabeth Regional Court he could not trace a key state witness to consult with him and could not proceed with the matter.
It is alleged that during the trial, Ndzotyana laughed off the allegations and stood by her boyfriend.
While Mafu's lawyers Peter Gouws and Advocate Terry Price insisted that the alleged rape was consensual sex, Captain Michael Shanigan, who was giving evidence on behalf of the teenage girl, stated that the girl had never had sex before the alleged incident. The injuries she sustained (orally, vaginally and anally) were due to consistent forced sex.
Speaking to local publication, The South African, Ndzotyana rubbished the claims that have been making rounds on social media. She says she is not a rape apologist and was no longer dating Mafu when he got arrested.
“Khwezi Mafu and I were dating when the rape allegations were made, and he was arrested. I know both parties involved and made the decision not to engage until the ongoing legal process has run its course,” she told the publication.
“I have not been in a relationship with him since he was arrested, I have not spoken about it at all except to close family members. I was trolled and cyber bullied at the time when I was Miss Mamelodi Sundowns and was advised not to comment – which I have not done – on the situation,” adds Ndzotyana.
The Miss South Africa organisation has not said anything regarding the matter.
Here’s how Tweeps reacted.
Ziyakhala manje, I remember the day in that Magistrate Court's room then Adv Gcina Malindi who is now a permanent judge telling this lady to stay away because the guy's rugby career would still be intact years to come while ena she will be judged based on her support for him💀. https://t.co/v29nypiQ39— Picasso Mlungisi (@Thabo_Ledwava) May 17, 2022
Thulani Ndzotyana my darling, dont shake, dont move , dont shift, don't curve and most importantly dont even FOLD. Tired of abantu beku twitter always aiming to destroy people because bona ba Miserable. Get the crown QUEEN https://t.co/Niezc2djb1— onwabe kellz Vili (@djkellzbby) May 17, 2022
Won’t lie, something don’t sit right with me all the smoke shifting over to her for foolishly standing by something when she was 18/19 while the actual perpetrator gets to have an ongoing career.. https://t.co/UBTxfRsRqS— Garvey (@Garvsta14) May 17, 2022