Tweeters put racist twist on Miss SA
Hygiene gloves seen as a dirty deed
MISS South Africa Demi-Leigh NelPeters was yesterday forced to stave off heated racist allegations on social media.
This was after pictures of the beauty queen began circulating on social media, showing her holding black children’s hands while wearing gloves.
The images stem from the 22-year-old’s visit to a feeding scheme.
Nel-Peters was one of the volunteers at a pop-up soup kitchen spearheaded by Sun International’s Maslow Hotel at the Ikageng community centre in Orlando West, Soweto, on Wednesday.
Despite the charitable deed, many Twitter users accused the beauty queen of wearing the gloves “because she didn’t want to touch black children”.
@PatsiPhala tweeted: “I hear this lady is @Official MissSA. Can anyone explain why is she feeding BLACK kids with latex gloves?”
@MTshwaku added: “Miss SA Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters had to use surgical gloves to feed children in Soweto #whitedominancemustfall.”
But Nel-Peters insists that she wore them for hygienic purposes and strongly denied any racial reasons for her action.
In a video posted on her Twitter account, she explained that all those who worked with the food had to wear gloves to avoid passing any infections to the kids.
“That was our only intention for wearing the gloves, to be as hygienic as possible.”
Ikageng programme director Carol Dyantyi also maintained that all volunteers, including their own staffers, were required to wear gloves during the food preparation.
“It was mandatory,” she insisted.
Dyantyi explained that one of the images in question regarding Miss SA wearing the gloves while interacting with the youngsters arose during a touching moment.
“The story behind one of the pictures is fantastic. An eight-year-old deaf girl wanted to teach Demi-Leigh how to say ‘thank you’ in sign language while Demi was still involved in food preparation. Demi was only too happy to pose for a picture,” said Dyantyi.
Nel-Peters said: “To me, the moral of the story of today was that 300 kids got a proper, warm lunch and they got that with or without gloves, so I am a bit saddened that my intentions were taken completely wrong.”
However, she apologised to anyone who was offended.
Despite the widespread condemnation, many have come to Nel-Peters’s defence.
@Mdue_Dlamini tweeted: “Out here labelling Miss SA a racist when she was feeding hungry kids when you’ve never helped a blind man cross the road. Ya’ll can be boring.”
@dlamini_d_ posted: “This whole Miss SA thing is just blown out of proportion, geez you people are so sensitive.”
MISUNDERSTOOD: Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was in Soweto on Wednesday to spend time with more than 300 youngsters and share a meal with them.