In a surprising turn of events, Levern José, the Miss SA Top 12 finalist, has decided to withdraw from the highly anticipated pageant following allegations of being a high school bully.
The BCOm Law student addressed the accusations in a statement released by the competition organizers on Monday, 19 June, expressing her side of the story.
“As a survivor of bullying, I learned how to protect myself from bullying during my school years. If my actions in protecting myself caused harm to anyone, I offer my sincere apologies,” Levern stated, reflecting on her past behavior.
She further revealed that she had been a victim of bullying herself, acknowledging the profound impact it had on her.
Striving to maintain her core values of kindness, respect, and empathy, Levern expressed her deep distress regarding the serious allegations made against her.
“It deeply troubles me that such grave accusations could be leveled against me,” she emphasized, emphasizing her commitment to fairness and justice.
Explaining her decision to withdraw from the Miss SA pageant, Levern highlighted her unwavering stance against all forms of abuse and bullying, stressing that they have no place in society.
She pledged to actively work against bullying and raise greater awareness about this pervasive issue. “I am human; the pressure has been immense and has taken its toll on me,” she admitted, illustrating the toll the situation had taken on her well-being.
Pageant CEO Stephanie Weil expressed the organization’s support for Levern’s decision and reaffirmed their stance against bullying.
“The Miss South Africa Organization does not condone bullying of any kind. We respect her for owning her truth and taking this time to focus on her own healing,” Weil stated.
Earlier this month, Levern José became a trending topic on Twitter as allegations of her past bullying resurfaced.
Numerous individuals shared their personal experiences with Levern, shedding light on the impact she had on their lives.
While the allegations initially gained attention recently, it was noted that similar claims were made by a woman named Faith Judith Msiza last month.
The incident has sparked a conversation about bullying and its lasting effects.
As the controversy surrounding Levern José’s past actions unfolds, the focus now shifts to promoting fairness, compassion, and raising awareness about the harmful consequences of bullying in society.