Less than a few hours after the top 30 for Miss South Africa was announced, Thulani Ndzotyana, who is running for the coveted title, was already topping trends on social media.
The beauty queen was dubbed as an alleged rape apologist after many claimed that she fully supported her then-boyfriend Khwezi Mafu, who was accused of raping an 18-year-old woman.
There were also reports that she supported Mafu regardless of the allegations that were lodged against her former lover.
When these allegations surfaced there were strong call for her to pull out of the competition.
The Star reached out to Ndzotyana through the Miss SA organisation, where she revealed that she was not in any way involved with Mafu.
“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.
“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,” she said,
Ndzotyana also revealed that she has allegedly been a victim of bullying following these events.
“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. I will not be commenting further on the matter,” she said.
For the next few weeks, Ndzotyana will be part of the group of women who will try to impress this year's Top 30 judges.
The judges are radio presenter and personality and Miss SA 2015 Liesl Laurie, body-positive activist Tracey-Lee Lusty Horwitz, Dentsu CEO Koo Govender, fashion designer Khosi Nkosi, True Love editor-in-chief Makhosazana Zwane-Siguqa, actor Simoné Nortmann, and actor and TV personality Thando Thabethe.
The Top 10, who will go through to the finals, will be announced on June 13 via the Miss SA App, which can be downloaded for free from the Apple app store or Google play store.