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North West beauty Marilyn Ramos on Sunday snatched the coveted Miss SA title in a tightly contested pageant at Sun City.
The Klerksdorp design student was chosen after almost six months of gruelling preparations, where the contestants had various aspects of their beauty and brains tested.
“It is still so surreal, I literally feel ecstatic, the whole process has been amazing,” Ramos told the Pretoria News after being crowned.
Sunday’s event started with 12 finalists being taken through their paces, and Ramos made it into the top five. She beat Pearl Nxele, Simone de Kock, Charne King and Stacey Webb to the crown.
“If I had chosen the top five myself I wouldn’t have put myself there, all the girls were amazing,” she the 21-year-old winner.
Her predecessor and Miss SA 2011, Melinda Bam wasn’t present to crown Ramos. Bam is in Las Vegas, where she is preparing to represent the country at the Miss Universe pageant.
Her first princess, Remona Moodley, passed on the reins to Ramos on Bam’s behalf.
Twenty-three-year-old Capetonian lawyer Stacey Webb was crowned first princess.
The crowd’s favourite, 24-year-old international marketing management graduate Pearl Nxele, from Mandini in KwaZulu-Natal, was crowned second princess.
Cape Town was well represented by 23-year-old law graduate Webb, who was crowned first princess.
The new Miss SA didn’t look overwhelmed as her name was announced to large cheers that came with a standing ovation as she strolled to the front end of the stage.
“This was the best line of girls, they had brains and knew their mandate,” judge Sonia Sedibe said. “They brought their A-game and the best girl won.” - Pretoria News
* CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this article, the caption stated that the first and second princesses were Simone de Kock and Stacey Webb respectively. Changes have been made to reflect the correct names.