Former Miss Iraq calls out Mandla Mandela's appeal for African countries to withdraw from Miss Universe

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Sarah Abdali Idan
Sarah Abdali Idan
Photo: Getty Images

  • Mandla Mandela called on African countries to boycott the Miss Universe competition, to be held in Israel in December. 
  • In response to Mandla's appeal, former Miss Iraq Sarah Abdali Idan, said: "How dare you, as a man, try to tell an organisation for women and women empowerment what to do." 
  • In response to the call for South Africa to withdraw from Miss Universe, the Miss South Africa organisation told Channel24: "The Miss South Africa Organisation is not getting involved in a political war of words."

In a video posted on Instagram and Twitter, former Miss Iraq, Sarah Abdali Idan, addressed Mandla Mandela and his call for African countries to boycott the Miss Universe competition, which will be held in Israel in December.

In 2017, the 31-year-old pageant titleholder became the first candidate from Iraq to represent the country at the Miss Universe competition in 45 years. 

The video comes after Mandla, the grandson of former South African president Nelson Mandela, called on all African countries to withdraw from the 70th edition of the Miss Universe competition, which will be hosted in the Israeli resort city of Eilat later this year. 

"Israel is an Apartheid State and persists in its heinous occupation and expansion of its illegal settlements in violation of international law. We must persist in isolating Apartheid Israel in the same way that we isolated Apartheid South Africa.

"We call on all countries to bolster their efforts to isolate Apartheid Israel and cut all ties be it trade, culture, sport, recreation or diplomatic," said a statement released by Mvezo Komkhulu (The Great Place).

(Read the full statement here

In response to Mandla's appeal, Sarah, in a video posted on social media, said: "This is a message to Mandla Mandela, who demanded from the Miss South Africa Organisation to boycott Israel and not send their representative to compete in [the] Miss Universe pageant, which will be held in Eilat in December.

"All I can say is: 'How dare you?' How dare you, as a man, try to tell an organisation for women and women empowerment what to do." 

"This is an opportunity that millions of women dream of having. To go on [the] world stage and represent their people, their nation, their culture. Not government, not politics, and definitely not your political agenda," she went on to say.

Sarah concluded the video by congratulating 24-year-old Lalela Mswane on being crowned Miss South Africa 2021 and said: "...[I] hope that you will enjoy your trip. And learn not only about Israel but about all these beautiful other countries. This is what the Miss Universe is about. And I hope to see you there soon."

On Thursday, in response to the call for South Africa to withdraw from the event, the Miss South Africa organisation told Channel24: "The Miss South Africa Organisation is not getting involved in a political war of words and has no further comment to make."

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