Miss Pretty results in ugly squabble over prize money
The Miss Pretty pageant organisers are at loggerheads with the winners over prize money that they did not receive due to a requirement that was overlooked, resulting in a sponsor’s withdrawal.
The pageant took place on November
2, and one of the requirements to compete was for contestants to be between the ages of 16 to 21 years.
However, one of the top three contestants revealed on stage she was
15 years old, which meant she did not qualify for the competition, but was allowed to continue participating.
The first princess, Gcobisa Pambukile, said the winner of the pageant was supposed to have received a R5,000 cash prize, and she should have received R3,500 as the first princess.
“We were informed by the organisers of the issue with the second princess who did not qualify for the competition. The company that was going to sponsor the prize money said they would no longer do so because a 15-year-old girl had been allowed to enter.”
Pambukile said one of the organisers, Thulani Koyana, had been ducking and diving when it came to payment and had stopped replying to texts.
“It is their fault they included someone who did not qualify and whatever problems they have with the said sponsor, should not affect us. We entered the competition with high hopes and this is how they are treating us now.”
Pambukile said when she threatened to take the matter to the media, Koyana said he was not bothered because it would not make any difference to the situation.
Koyana confirmed that a sponsor who had promised money for the winners pulled out after he learnt that a 15-year-old had participated.
“I understand the importance of requirements in a competition like this and I take full responsibility for what is going on. The parent wanted her daughter to participate so badly and I did not realise it would be an issue, so I allowed it.”
Koyana said issues started after the event due to the young girl being crowned second princess.
“There clearly were people who had a problem with the young contestant who then spoke to the sponsor because when we visited him, he already knew about the matter. He said he did not want to be involved with a fraudulent event and so he would no longer sponsor us.”
Thulani said he explained the situation to the winners and told them the underage girl would be disqualified and not receive anything.
“There was a big misunderstanding. We usually communicated by text, but they became rude because they were under the impression that I did not want to pay them. The truth is that I do not have the money and I am trying my best.”
Koyana apologised for any inconvenience caused and said he was working on other events to make money so he could pay the girls.