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.

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