‘Nothing Beautiful about Occupation’: Mandela’s Grandson Calls for Boycott of Miss Universe Pageant in Israel

Lalela Mswane, Miss South Africa 2021. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

After Lalela Mswane was crowned Miss South Africa 2021 on Saturday, Mandla Mandela, the grandson of former South African President Nelson Mandela, has urged her to boycott the Miss Universe event, which is set to be held in Israel, South-Africa-based IOL website reported.

Mandela congratulated Mswane in a press statement released on Sunday, IOL added. However, after learning that the Miss Universe event will be held in Israel, Mandela urged her and all former Miss South Africa winners to boycott the beauty pageant, in protest of the “occupation and the cruel treatment of Palestinians at the hands of apartheid Israel regime”.

“There is nothing beautiful about occupation, brutality and institutionalized discrimination against the Palestinian people,” Mandela said in his statement. 

“Israeli violations against Palestinians should be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC),” IOL reported Mandela as saying, adding, “Israel’s occupation was no less despicable than apartheid in South Africa.”

The academic and cultural boycott was a very important instrument in anti-apartheid activism in South Africa. A document produced in May 1989 by the African National Congress (ANC) read: “No cultural workers, artists, sportspersons or academics should be permitted to travel to South Africa to perform or impart their services and their expertise, save and except in those instances where such travel is clearing in the furtherance to national democratic struggle or any of its objectives.”

“The Palestinian liberation discourse has adopted references to the popular struggle against South Africa’s apartheid,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud wrote in a recent article, adding that “the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is also largely modeled around the boycott movement of South Africa.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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