Sun International has come out in defence of Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who was this week accused of racism for wearing gloves while serving food to children at a pop-up soup kitchen at community-based organisation Ikageng, in Orlando West, Soweto.
A social media storm erupted when Nel-Peters, was photographed interacting with kids and serving food while wearing gloves.
Sun International yesterday issued a statement clarifying the incident.
“All volunteers, including Demi-Leigh, wore disposable sanitary gloves while working with the food. It is standard hygiene practice that ready-to-eat food be prepared and served without bare hand contact.”
The statement said that while Nel-Peters was handing out food, she was asked to pose for photos and still had the gloves on.
According to Ikageng programme director Carol Dyantyi, all volunteers, including their staff members, wore gloves during the food preparation.
“It was such a successful day and I am sorry that the focus is now on the gloves,” she said.
“An eight-year-old deaf girl wanted to teach Demi-Leigh how to say ‘thank you’ in sign language, while Demi was still involved in food preparation. Demi was only too happy to pose for a picture. It was such a moving moment.”
Nel-Peters also reacted to the negative comments on social media, saying she was “saddened” that her intentions were completely misunderstood.
“All the volunteers wore gloves on site today because we thought it the right thing to do,” she said