Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
8 Dec 2021
5:34 pm

Court strikes application against govt withdrawal of support for Miss SA of the roll

Siyanda Ndlovu

The judgement means that Mswane is likely to continue in the pageant without the backing of her home government,

Miss South Africa 2021 Lalela Mswane. Picture: Instagram

The Gauteng High Court on Wednesday struck Citizens for Integrity case of the roll. The application was brought to challenge the government’s stance on Miss SA competing in Israel.

This means that Mswane will continue to compete in the pageant without the backing and blessing of South Africa’s Department of Sport, arts and culture.

Wednesday afternoon’s developments have been welcomed by human rights organisation Africa4Palestine, which has lambasted the application as having the “intention to bully our South African government into ending its support for human rights and for the Palestinian people”.

“The days that the Israeli lobby could intimidate and try to muzzle expression and support for the oppressed people of Palestine is over,” the group said in a statement.

Last week, Citizens for Integrity, announced it was taking the department of Sports Arts and Culture to court after the announcement that government was not supporting Mswane’s participation in the pageant.

The organisation wanted the court to declare the department’s declaration and conduct invalid and inconsistent with the constitution.

They were also asking the department to publicly apologise to Mswane and were seeking a cost order for two legal counsel.

Pull out or else!

The host nation for the Miss Universe pageant was announced in July.

DSAC’s chief of staff, JP Louw first brought up the matter with Miss South Africa owner Stephanie Wheel in a telephone conversation on 12 November, in which the latter was advised to pull out of the Miss Universe pageant and issue a joint statement with DSAC.

NOW READ: More beauty queens pull out of Miss Universe in Israel, here’s why

In a midnight email to Wheel, dated 14 November, seen by Citizen, Louw accused her of adopting “a reflection of an unpleasant demeanour compared to what was the case during our telephonic discussion on Friday, 12th November 2021.”

The email ended with an ultimatum: pull out of the competition and issue a joint statement with the department citing the reasons.

“Failing which we will have to issue a statement stating government’s standing. The intention is to issue such a statement on Sunday, 14/11/2021 or Monday 15/11/2021. To that extend, please revert back by or before 12h00 on Sunday, 14/11/2021 with your final decision on this matter,” wrote Louw.

DSAC officially withdrew its support with a statement on 14 November. What followed were widespread calls for Mswane to withdraw from the pageant.

Additional reporting by Narissa Subramoney