by Fredrick Ngugi, at 01:00 pm, July 11, 2017, Entertainment

Miss South Africa Trolled for Wearing Gloves While Feeding Orphans in Soweto

The winner of this year’s Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, triggered social media backlash, after she was photographed wearing gloves while feeding orphans in Soweto, South Africa, Thursday.

The 22-year-old beauty queen was participating in Sun International’s Maslow Hotel campaign to prepare and serve hot meals to thousands of people this month at various locations in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

However, the images of Nel-Peters feeding Black kids with latex gloves caused some to accuse her of being racist and afraid of touching Black children:

Others claim the fashion idol, who is of mixed race, was afraid of touching the kids because some of them have HIV.

On Twitter, some people used the hashtag #MissSAChallenge to post comical pictures of themselves doing ordinary chores while needlessly wearing gloves and nylon paper bags:

However, not all comments were critical. Some people faulted those accusing the beauty queen of racism, saying the outrage was far-fetched:

An Apology

In her reaction to the uproar, Nel-Peters posted a video on Twitter clarifying that she wore the gloves for sanitary reasons and also refuted claims that there were racial undertones to her actions:

She added that all the volunteers present at the orphanage were required to wear gloves while handling food to ensure good hygiene.

Ultimately, Nel-Peters apologized, saying it was not her intention to offend anyone.

Her team, led by her spokesperson Claudia Henkel, later posted images of her gloveless and playing with the children after the food had been served:

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters playing with the South African orphans after the meal. Photo credit: Twitter

As one of the few African countries with the largest population of White people, South Africa continues to struggle with the ancient demon of racism more than two decades after the end of Apartheid.

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