Miss SA Lalela Mswane speaks out on being attacked over Israeli trip

Miss SA Lalela Mswane speaks out on being attacked over Israeli trip

Miss SA Lalela Mswane speaks out on being attacked over Israeli trip

Lalela Mswane is speaking out for the first time about the backlash and “bullying” she received after the Miss SA organization defended her trip to Israel.

The 24-year-old beauty pageant queen is currently in Eilat, competing in the Miss Universe pageant, which will take place on Sunday, 12 December.

But her road to Israel was not an easy one, claims the LLB graduate, who aspires to practice international humanitarian law.

Lalela Mswane faced criticism from fellow South Africans and human rights and pro-Palestine activists. Even the SA government withdrew their support to her ahead of the pageant.

The beauty queen and the Miss SA organisation were accused of “supporting” an “Apartheid state” by visiting Israel.

But for the Richards Bay born star, going to the country was non-negotiable.

She told The Jerusalem Post: “If I had not come to Israel to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, I think I would have regretted it for the rest of my life.

Lalela Mswane
“My soul would not have been at peace if I had skipped it,” said Mswane, a law-school graduate, model and dancer.

Lalela told the publication that as a “devout Catholic”, she was inclined to visit the Old City of Jerusalem, especially the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where she felt “calmness and a sense of renewal.”

Lalela continues to face criticism online ahead of the pageant. Her national costume – a white dove symbolising a “hope for everlasting peace”– was dragged by critics as “hypocritical”.

The 24-year-old claims the “cyberbullying” has been difficult to deal with.

She added: “Certain people have put me through hell and back. It has not been the easiest thing to deal with. I’ve gotten every kind of comment on social media. But I choose to be optimistic.”

Lalela also claimed her faith has helped her pull through.

She added: “The way everything unfolded reminded me of His greatness and why I’m here.”

“My primary goal is to win. I’m a firm believer. I give it all to God.”

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