Johannesburg – Miss SA Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters came under fire on Wednesday when she posted snaps on her Instagram account of herself wearing latex gloves while at a soup drive for underprivileged people.
In the pics Demi is seen wearing the gloves while socialising with some of the children who were there to receive food.
Things got out of hand when the beauty queen's followers started questioning why she was wearing gloves, with one user writing: “Watsup with the gloves actually?”
Responding to the comments, Demi posted a video explaining why she was wearing gloves.
“I just want to clear something up. All the volunteers on site wore gloves today because we honestly thought that it’s the right thing to do while working with food, and while handing out food to young kids. That was our only intention with wearing the gloves, was purely to be as hygienic as possible," she said in the clip.
She added that her intentions were completely misunderstood. "To me the moral of the story today was that 300 kids got a proper, warm lunch, and they got that with or without gloves. I’m a bit saddened that my intentions were taken up completely wrong and I really apologise if I offended anybody it definitely was not my intention. I’m sorry about that, I really hope that you can see my heart."
Watch the video here:
A press release addressing the issue was made public on Thursday. Saying that they would like to put things "into context", Sun International wrote: "All volunteers, including Demi-Leigh, wore disposable sanitary gloves while working with the food and handing it out."
"While Demi was handing out food she was asked to pose for photos so still had the gloves on. She did not wear disposable gloves throughout the entire visit. She was also involved in handing out blankets to those who attended," the statement goes on to say.
Carol Dyantyi, programme director at Ikageng (the community centre in Soweto where Demi spent the day handing out soup) added: "It was such a successful day and I am sorry that the focus is now on the gloves rather than the positive impact it had. The story behind one of the pictures is fantastic. 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. For us who were there, it was such a moving moment."