15 Contestants from this year’s Miss SA pageant have accused the organizers of the contest of favouring the winner, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.
An article appeared in the Sowetan on Sunday alleging that Nel-Peters was given a personal trainer, a grooming expert, sponsored make-up lessons, preferential treatment during charity visits and even had “personal relationships with some of the judges and Sun International-affiliated officials”.
The publication reported that it was in possession of voice note recordings between some of the contests speaking about the alleged rigging.
“In the voice note she [Ade van Heerden] is heard telling another finalist: “We were not really smiling and stuff … I watched the video and I am like sh*t Ade, you have already rolled your eyes once when she got crowned,” the publication said.
“People don’t know the whole story behind it, so they do think that I am bitter? My disappointment is not necessarily in the loss and I am not the only one that is disappointed, we are 11 girls that are disappointed that the wrong person won,” the paper continues to quote the voice note.
The 15 contestants have sent a letter to the publication, making the allegations.
They are accusing Werner Wessels, a Sun International-affiliated trainer, former Miss SA and former National Executive of Sun International, Melinda Bam, and former Miss SA, Sun International PR Manager, and Miss SA 2017 judge, Claudia Henkel, of favouring Nel-Peters.
Claudia Henkel has since been in the media, claiming that the allegations and are ‘unfounded’ and ‘sour grapes’.
Neither Henkel, Sun International nor Nine Squared, the Miss SA PR company, were available when we tried to reach them for comment.
Source : Online