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Claudia Henkel: Miss SA was not rigged

The prestigious Miss South Africa pageant has rubbished claims that the competition is rigged. 

Miss SA finalists 2017
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This comes after a report in the Sowetan newspaper that some of the finalists are crying foul.

 

The newspaper reports that at least 15 of the semi-finalists came forward, claiming that the competition was rigged in favour of winner Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.

 

Some of the allegations include that Demi-Leigh was trained to win the competition by making use of the well-known stylist Werner Wessels, and that Nel-Peters was very close to some of the judges.


But the claims have been rubbished. Listen below.

"Absolutely not. Demi-Leigh is a great ambassador and she deserves the crown and we need to understand how she must be feeling as a result of these allegations," Miss SA spokesperson Claudia Henkel says.


Henkel adds that the top 26 finalists are treated equally throughout the lengthy process of judging and that they are given the tools to become the "best version of themselves."

 

"We weren't aware of these allegations on the night of the crowning and we were under the impression that everything was great," she says.

 

She says that they never addressed the finalists after the night of the crowning as they didn't know who the disgruntled finalists were.

 

"We have always had an open door policy and we are transparent in what we do," Henkel says.

 

The article states that stylist and pageant coach Werner Wessels is attached to Sun City, but Henkel says this is not true.

 

"He is an independent pageant coach, and there are many in South Africa," she says.

 

Wessels has coached former Miss SA Melinda Bam, as well as Miss World 2014 Rolene Strauss.

 

The scorecards on the night of the final were never discussed by any of the judges, Henkel says.

 

"Maps Maponyane, Unathi Msengana, Gizelle, and Cameron van der Berg and I never saw each other's scoring," she says.


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