Confusion surrounds South Africa's absence from Miss Grand International media tour

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Jeane` Van Dam was crowned fourth runner-up at Miss Grand International 2021.
Jeane` Van Dam was crowned fourth runner-up at Miss Grand International 2021.
Photo: Instagram (Jeane` Van Dam)

On Saturday, South Africa's Jeanè Van Dam was crowned fourth runner-up at Miss Grand International 2021 in Bangkok, securing the country's first-ever golden crown at the international pageant. 

But it was 23-year-old Nguyen Thúc Thuy Tien who made history by becoming the first representative from Vietnam to win the Miss Grand International 2021 crown. 

Following the grand finale, the top four embarked on a media tour, but pageant enthusiasts were quick to notice South Africa's absence from the celebrations. 

About her absence from the tour, Jeanè wrote on Instagram: "I am heartbroken as this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. And I worked just as hard as the other girls. So to not be part of the media tour & new sisterhood bond is devastating to say the least."

She also shared alleged screengrabs of conversations with the pageant organisation regarding her involvement in the media tour. 

Speaking to Channel24, Teresa Chaivisut, Vice President Miss Grand International, cleared up the confusion, saying that the organisation did not request any runners-up to remain in Bangkok for the media tour.

"It is just that those who happened to still be in Bangkok was requested in one of the TV shows here, and it was a surprise for us also that most of them are still here and happy to join the media tour," she said. 

"Unlike 2020 when we actually asked before the final, as we have an agreement with the Thai Tourism Authority for the top five to stay longer to promote tourism in Thailand. But not for 2021 due to uncertainty of the new variant [with regards to the] Covid-19 situation," she went on to say. 

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