Miss South Africa has defended herself after being called racist on Twitter for wearing latex gloves while feeding black children in Soweto.
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters shared pictures of herself helping at the Maslow Hotel’s winter soup drive from her own account and the official Miss SA Twitter account.
Some concluded that her wearing gloves while working with black children was a sign of racism while others questioned the kind of message she was sending as an International figure.
She later posted a video on twitter to clear the air and explain why she had the gloves on while handling the children.
“All the volunteers on site wore gloves today because we honestly thought that it’s the right thing to do while working with food and while handing out food to young kids,” Nel-Peters said.
She said it was to be as hygienic as possible while working with children and she apologized to those who were offended.
Carol Dyantyi, the programme director at Ikageng, the community centre Nel-Peters went to, said it was unfortunate that the gloves became the focal point of interest in the soup drive.
“It was such a successful day and I am sorry that the focus is now on the gloves rather than the positive impact it had. 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. For us who were there, it was such a moving moment,” Dyantyi said.