in ,

Miss SA Top 12 Finalist Levern José Withdraws From Pageant After Bullying Accusations

Miss South Africa top 12 finalist Levern ‘Donatella’ José has withdrawn from the running of this year’s pageant. José’s withdrawal from the upcoming pageant comes after she was accused of bullying by schoolmates on social media.

“The Miss South Africa organisation does not condone bullying of any kind. We accept Levern’s decision to pull out of the competition and respect her for owning her truth and taking this time to focus on her own healing,” the organisation said in a press statement.

Last week, the organisation and its CEO, Stephanie Weil, told News24 they had “no comment to make” about the bullying accusations against the 23-year-old.

“As a survivor of bullying, I learned how to protect myself from bullying during my school years. If my actions in protecting myself caused harm to anyone, I offer my sincere apologies. The pain of being a target has left an indelible mark on my heart, and I would never intentionally cause hurt or contribute to someone else’s suffering,” José said in the statement.

“Kindness, respect and empathy have always been my guiding principles, and I have unwaveringly worked to adhere to these values. It deeply troubles me that such grave accusations could be levelled against me. While I firmly believe in my own accountability and responsibility, I also hold steadfastly to the principles of fairness and justice.”

All forms of abuse and bullying are unacceptable and have no place in our society.
— Levern José

“Please know that I am determined to work against bullying to bring about wider awareness about this issue,” she said. “I am unwavering in my stance to upholding what is right and just. I am human; the pressure has been immense and has taken its toll on me. Together, let’s strive for fairness and compassion in all our interactions with others.”

José is not the first Miss South Africa contestant who has had to withdraw from the running. In 2020, Bianca Schoombee withdrew her entry after racist and crude tweets she made years earlier surfaced.

Written by PH

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Jennifer Lopez Shares Shirtless Snap of ‘Daddy’ Ben Affleck

Trevor Noah Says New Gig Is A ‘Fun New Adventure’