On Wednesday morning Miss South Africa named Sasha-Lee Olivier as the new Miss South Africa

The 26-year-old takes over from Zozibini Tunzi, who will spend the rest of the year serving her Miss Universe duties.

In reality, we have been expecting this announcement for a while. Those who remember the proceedings that took place when Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters won Miss Universe in 2017 (or those old enough to remember when Margaret Gardiner assumed the crown in 1978!) will recall that once a South African wins the global pageant, her first runner up usually assumes the title of Miss SA.

Now, two weeks into the new year, the news has been confirmed by pageant organisers.

So what exactly does this mean?

Since Zozibini will be spending the next year fulfilling her Miss Universe duties from New York City, Sasha-Lee will assume her vacant post in Mzansi and will be tasked with meeting all Miss South Africa’s goals for the next year, as well as fulfilling her obligations to sponsors.

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Sasha expressed her excitement at the brand new opportunity when she said, “I am so happy for Zozi who deserves, in every way, to wear the Miss Universe sash. I wish her every success. I step into big shoes. I just want Zozi to know that I will do my best to fill them.”

Meanwhile, Zozibini was full of nothing but praise for her successor

Reporting from New York City, the pageant winner said, “I cannot think of anyone who is more suitable to be Miss South Africa. Sasha has it all: beauty, brains and, above all, a commitment to help others. I have no doubt that she will use her reign to help improve the lot of those in need.”

Sasha-Lee already plans to hit the ground running. In her briefing to the media, the beauty queen unveiled the plans for the campaign which she holds close to her heart: the #ItsNotYourFault movement.

The campaign aims to support survivors of sexual assault across South Africa and the newly crowned Miss SA explained why it was particularly close to hear heart when she said: “Taking over the Miss South Africa title means that I am able to continue working to help women who, like me, have been sexually abused. It will be a top priority for me during my time as Miss South Africa.

Explaining how her campaign will aim to change victim-blaming attitudes, she said, “We need to change the commonly held perception regarding this – the shame does not lie with the the victim at all.”

 

The CEO of the Miss South Africa Organisation Stephanie Weil concluded by sharing a message of support to Sasha when she said, “We are happy to announce Sasha as the new Miss South Africa because she is fully committed and ready to begin her reign.”

Are you excited to welcome your brand new Miss South Africa?