Photos of Miss South Africa wearing gloves while visiting black children at an orphanage in Soweto sparked a online outcry – but the orphanage staff say any insinuation that Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters is racist is “ridiculous”.
“Of course it wasn’t because she didn’t want to touch black children,” says Carol Dyantyi, a spokesperson for the Orlando West Community Centre Ikageng.
Nel-Peters was volunteering to feed orphans at the centre, and the gloves were a health and safety measure.
“We told her, and all other volunteers, to wear them while they were handling food around the children,” Dyantyi tells BBC Trending. “It was purely to protect the children from the risk of contaminated food. This social media reaction is ridiculous.”
Thousands of Twitter users criticised Nel-Peters after photos of her at a soup drive on Wednesday began to circulate on social media.
Many accused the beauty queen of wearing the latex gloves “because she didn’t want to touch black children” and shared images of her hugging dogs and white children with bare hands.