Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who is mixed race, was accused of racism following the charity event at a soup kitchen in the country’s capital, Johannesburg.
People said she was either afraid of catching HIV by touching the children or she was ‘wearing gloves to touch black children.’
The 22-year-old Miss South Africa defended wearing gloves, denying she was racist and saying that she was told to wear gloves because she was ‘handling food’.
She said: ‘I just want to clear something up. All the volunteers on site wore gloves because we were told it was the right thing to do while working with food and we were handing out food to young kids.