Medical student Rolene Strauss crowned Miss SA 2014

2014-03-31 08:16

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Rolene Strauss was crowned Miss SA 2014 last night at a glittering event held at the Sun City Superbowl in North West.

The 21-year-old medical student from Bloemfontein, originally from Volksrust in Mpumalanga, snatched the Palesa crown from 12 other hopefuls, leaving crowd favourites Ziphozake Zokufa from the Eastern Cape and Matlala Makoko from Limpopo to settle for first and second princess, respectively.

Miss SA Rolene Strauss with first princesses, Ziphozake Zokufa and Matlala Makoko.

Strauss was crowned by Marilyn Ramos, who enjoyed one of the longest reigns in the records of Miss SA, which lasted more than 15 months.

Strauss wins a R1.3 million prize package, including a car and cash. The package is touted as one of the biggest in world beauty pageantry.

Performers of the night, emceed by Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp, included supergroup Mi Casa and singer Bucie.

It was wall-to-wall ex-Miss SAs right from 1989’s Suzette van der Merwe, who works for one of the sponsors, to the titleholders from the dawn of democracy, such as 1992’s Amy Kleinhans-Curd, who was also a judge.

Basetsana Kumalo, who won in 1994, celebrated the 20th year of her crowning with her sister, Johanna Mukoki, as her partner.

She also officially announced her pregnancy with her third child with her cellphone company executive husband Romeo, and her clearly visible bump was the subject of much interest. Kumalo turned 40 on the eve of the pageant.

The array of former winners included Bernalee Daniels, Joan Ramagoshi, Tatum Keshwar, Bokang Montjane and Melinda Bam.

Also in attendance were captains of industry such as Leslie Sedibe.

High-flying DJ Black Coffee, who withdrew his services as a judge after it was revealed that one of the finalists, Tidimalo Setlhako, was his wife Mbali Mlotshwa's stepsister, was in the audience. Incidentally, Setlhako reached the last five stage of the competition.

Sports minister Fikile Mbalula joined in the festivities too.

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