The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has called on Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane to condemn the 70th Miss Universe pageant, to be held in Eilat, Israel, on 12 December.
There have been concerns from pro-Palestine supporters that South Africa participating will constitute supporting what they view as an apartheid government in Israel.
The two states have been in conflict for decades in relation to land territories, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank since 1967 and police brutality.
Miss SA and Miss Universe have been trending on social media as South Africans call on the organisation to not participate in the pageant.
Now the EFF has joined South Africans in their call for a boycott.
“We specifically call on Lalela Mswane, Miss South Africa, to refuse, reject and condemn the Miss Universe taking place in Israel which is an apartheid, genocidal and criminal state,” said the party in a statement on Wednesday.
“No South African whose liberation came through the international boycott of Afrikaner apartheid by people of the the world should ever negotiate boycotting Israel. No South African should ever arrogate themselves the responsibility of understanding, negotiating or reconciling Palestinians with their oppressor, Israel. Our duty is to isolate Israel from all cultural, sports, religious and economic activities until they end their apartheid and colonial occupation of Palestinian people and lands.
“To Lalela Mswane, we say stand with the oppressed, let the beauty of Palestine and Palestinians come first. Let it be affirmed through a complete boycott of their oppressor: Apartheid Israel.”
Speaking to The Citizen, the organisation insisted on Mswane participating in the pageant, calling those who want to “rob” her of her moment “unkind” and “short-sighted”.
“We are not a political organisation and the Miss Universe pageant is not a politically inspired event,” said the organisation.
Additional reporting by Sandisiwe Mbhele