A radiant Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has been crowned Miss South Africa 2017 at a glittering ceremony held at Sun City.
The runners-up are Adè van Heerden from the Western Cape (first princess) and Boipelo Mabe from Alexandra in Gauteng (second princess).
An excited and overwhelmed Demi-Leigh, 21, from Sedgefield in the Western Cape, said she was determined to make a difference during her reign. In her acceptance speech, she said: “I vow to dedicate the next 365 days of my life to serve the people of South Africa, to be a voice for those who are afraid to or cannot speak up and to represent the whole of our beautiful nation.
“I vow to listen, to be there, to help where I can and to recognise that we all want to be heard, we all want to be validated. “I hear you, I see you, I am you!” Before she was crowned Miss South Africa, Nel-Peters had completed her BCom in business management and entrepreneurship and was a part-time model.
As Miss South Africa 2017, DemiLeigh received R1-million in cash from sponsors Sun International and Cell C, as well as a bouquet of prizes that has elevated the competition to one of the richest pageants in the world.
For the first time, members of the public were invited to vote for the finalist they thought should take the crown.
The event – broadcast live on M-Net and Mzansi Magic – was a star-studded affair.
Sun International’s public relations executive Claudia Henkel said: “Miss South Africa represents the whole of South Africa and will make a meaningful contribution to the lives of many.”
Cell C managing executive Suzette van der Merwe said: “This pageant provides life-changing experiences for the participants and for the winner an opportunity to inspire and make a real difference.”