Miss SA Finalist Levern José Quits Pageant Amid Bullying Accusations
Levern José, one of the Miss SA Top 12 finalists, has decided to withdraw from the pageant following allegations of her involvement in high school bullying. The BCom Law student released a statement through the competition organisers on Monday, 19 June, addressing the accusations and expressing remorse for her actions.
According to Levern, she experienced bullying herself and developed coping mechanisms to protect herself during her school years. While she acknowledges that her actions may have caused harm to others, she sincerely apologizes to the women she hurt during that time. She emphasized that kindness, respect, and empathy have always guided her, and she is committed to adhering to these values.
Levern José quits Miss SA and promises to address bullying
Levern emphasized her dedication to working against bullying and raising awareness about this issue. She strongly believes that all forms of abuse and bullying are unacceptable in society. The immense pressure she faced as a Miss SA finalist has taken a toll on her well-being, leading her to make the difficult decision to withdraw from the pageant. She urges everyone to strive for fairness and compassion in their interactions with others.
Pageant Organization’s Response
Stephanie Weil, the CEO of the Miss South Africa Organization, has accepted Levern’s decision to quit the pageant. She made it clear that the organization does not condone any form of bullying and expresses respect for Levern’s honesty and her focus on personal healing. Weil also stated that the Miss South Africa Organization is committed to supporting anti-bullying efforts.
Victims Share Their Experiences
Earlier this month, Levern José faced public scrutiny on social media after individuals shared their personal experiences of being bullied by her during high school. Twitter users tagged Levern and the Miss SA organization, bringing attention to her alleged past behavior. One user, @AnelisaJu, expressed shock that Levern made it to the top 12 of the Miss South Africa competition and shared details of the bullying incident.
Additional Twitter users, @nsalemane and @FinegyaalKat, also came forward to share their experiences of being bullied by Levern and her friends. The allegations gained traction on social media, sparking discussions about bullying and its long-lasting effects.
It is worth noting that the allegations were initially made by Faith Judith Msiza in May, in response to the Top 30 announcement. Faith described an incident where Levern and her friend bullied a girl named Deborah after school and intimidated Deborah’s mother when she tried to intervene.
The allegations have raised important conversations about the impact of bullying and the need for measures to prevent and address it.
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