Melinda Bam


Reigning Miss SA Melinda Bam has withdrawn from the Miss World competition, and has asked that the country now support her replacement first princess Remona Moodley, claiming her decision to step back was “nothing unusual”.

Speaking in Durban, the 23-year-old blonde beauty who was in the city at the weekend to attend the Vodacom Durban July race, was responding for the first time to Twitter gossip speculating about the reasons behind her decision to pull out of the Miss World competition in China.

“I really believe Remona could win, otherwise I would not have made the decision I did,” Bam said. “I once lived in China for six months. Now this is her chance to go.”

Bam announced last week that she would not be competing in the Miss World Pageant next month, and Miss SA sponsor Sun International said it was for “personal reasons” and it respected her privacy.

Bam was focusing on working for the Miss Universe title at the end of the year, her publicist Sue Klerck said, adding Bam was “very excited” about the prospect.

A flurry of newspaper reports followed the beauty queen’s withdrawal, with speculation ranging from pregnancy to Bam’s party-girl lifestyle not making her the ideal contestant in a Miss World pageant. “Melinda is not guilty of anything,” Klerck stressed.

Bam said that the stories were “nonsense”’ and that people should rather pay attention to what her good friend Remona was doing.