23-year-old UCT medical student Tamaryn Green was crowned as Miss South Africa. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The Miss South Africa pageant celebrated its diamond jubilee in style, with about 10 former Miss South Africa title holders taking to the stage for a beautiful tribute.

Sunday night saw the culmination of a year's search for two beautiful lasses to take over from Demi Leigh Nel-Peters and Adè van Heerden at an electric ceremony at the Sun Arena in Pretoria.

Paarl-born Tamaryn Green and East London-born Thulisa Keyi walked away with the crowns of Miss South Africa Universe and Miss South Africa World, respectively.

For the first time in its 60 years of existence, the pageant's 12 finalists were narrowed down to the top five, and then the top two.

Green is a 23-year-old final-year medical student at the University of Cape Town, while Keyi is a 26-year-old accounting graduate from the same institution.

When Green heard her name being called, she says couldn't describe the feeling.

“The first thing I did was to say thank you to my creator and my parents. I just knew my life changed for the better.”

Thulisa Keyi and Tamaryn Green Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

The dazzling doctor-to-be and model, answering the judges' question, said she'd help heal the sick back to health, and do her best to empower women during her reign.

Keyi said she would advocate for education as it was the most sustainable tool to grow the country's economy.

Each will represent the country at the respective pageants later this year.

Performances from DJ Zinhle and Tamara Dey, Goodluck and Lady Zamar kept the cheerful audience wanting more.

Show host Bonang Matheba kept the night professional and fashionable with several outfit changes and a total command of the stage.

The judging panel was made up of radio host Anele Mdoda, who was a judge in 2014, social media influencer and marketer Khaya Dlanga, businesswoman and media mogul Khanyi Dhlomo, entrepreneur and television presenter Janez Vermeiren, magazine editor Michelle van Breda, celebrity chef and TV personality Siba Mtongana and Miss World 2014 Rolene Strauss.

A run-up to the festivities kept the former Miss SAs busy as they were honoured and presented with certificates and gifts.

The pageant also launched the Legacy Initiative, which will see them raise funds to help further the education of young South Africans.

“We believe Miss South Africa is an inspirational brand. It promotes giving back and making a positive difference in our communities," Gareth Flusk, the pageant's organiser, said.

The former beauties included Penny Rey Coelen, Anneline Kriel Bacon, Rolene Strauss, Margaret Gardiner, Basetsana Kumalo, Kerishnie Naicker, Joan Ramagoshi and Liesl Laurie.

The Star