Miss Supranational officials defend Lalela Mswane against "baseless" rumours

Miss Supranational officials defend Lalela Mswane against "baseless" rumours

Lalela was MIA at the Miss Supranational welcome dinner in Poland, but officials say it was for a good reason. 

Miss Supranational Lalela Mswane
Miss Supranational 2022 Lalela Mswane / Credit: Miss South Africa (via Instagram, @lalela_mswane)

Miss Supranational officials have come to the defence of its reigning title holder, Lalela Mswane

The KwaZulu-Natal beauty, who hails from Richards Bay, is expected to hand over her crown at the glitzy ceremony taking place in Poland on July 14. 

But the 26-year-old was noticeably absent went the pageant's festivities kicked off in late June. A welcome dinner was held at the Hotel Czarny Potok Resort Spa & Conference in the Polish town of Krynica Zdrój. 

Her absence led to widespread speculation. Some assumed Lalea was sick, while others slammed her for being a no-show. 

"Where is Lalela?" and "Why is Lalela not in Poland?" were just some of the questions asked on social media. Officials set the record straight this week in a statement shared on Instagram. 

"Recently there has been baseless rumours about why #misssupranational is not currently in Poland. We have been made aware thar Lalela has become the victim of #cyberbullying because of this, something we are totally against," the organisation said. 

ALSO READ: Vietnam gives Miss Supranational Lalela Mswane a warm welcome

Miss Supranational added that Lalela has been booked for an important event in South Africa and will make her way to Poland this weekend. 

"This event aligns with her aspirational goals and she has the approval and full support of this organization to pursue her career goals. We can’t wait to see you in Poland soon, Lali!" 

Andre Sleigh, Miss Supranational International Operations Manager, also weighed in on the matter. 

"As someone who is still going through the stages of grief after losing my mother, I find it so distasteful that the person who was there for me 100% during this time, Lalela Mswane, is being attacked," he wrote on his Instagram Stories. 

Andre added that he encouraged Lalela to "take a job that is not only good for her career but also with our full blessing". 

ALSO READ: Prince Kaybee: 'Some family members make us their financial plan' 


Lalela won the Miss South Africa pageant in 2021, and went on to represent the country at the Miss Supranational ceremony in July 2022.  She became the first black woman to win the pageant

The Bachelor of Law graduate's win came several months after she faced cyberbullying for her decision to attend the Miss Universe pageant in Israel. 

Several civil rights organisations and political parties demanded that she boycott the December 2021 ceremony in solidarity with Palestine. 

Lalela and the Miss SA organisation stood their ground, refusing to allow politics to interfere with her "childhood dream – to wear the crown while representing her country globally". 

"Anyone who wants to rob Lalela of her moment in the spotlight is unkind and short-sighted. She is the shining beacon for young women everywhere, showing them that being beautiful while being clever and educated is very possible. We are not a political organisation and The Miss Universe pageant is not a politically inspired event," officials said in a statement. 

Lalela, who wore a 'Dove of Peace' outfit at the final ceremony, was named second runner-up at the event.

Former Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School learner Ayanda Thabethe will be representing South Africa at the Miss Supranational 2023 pageant

The Miss SA 2022 runner-up flew to Poland on June 25 to take part in pre-ceremony festivities. 

"And in what feels like a blink of an eye, today I start writing my Miss Supranational 2023 journey on my blank page and one thing it WILL be is EXTRAORDINARY!" she wrote on Instagram before her departure. 

ALSO READ: Boity Thulo opens up about life-changing breast reduction surgery

Main image credit: Instagram/@lalela_mswane (Copyright Miss South Africa)

How to listen to East Coast Radio:

1.    Listen to East Coast Radio on the FM spectrum between 94 and 95 FM on your radio.

2.    Listen live to ECR by clicking here or download the ECR App (iOS/Android).

3.    Listen to East Coast Radio on the DStv audio bouquet

4.    Listen to us on Amazon Alexa

Find East Coast Radio on the following social media platforms: 

Show's Stories