by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – MISS South Africa, Lalela Mswane, finished in the top three at the 70th Miss Universe pageant held in Eilat, Israel in the early hours of Monday.
She was crowned second runner up to eventual winner, Miss India, Harnaaz Sandhu.
Miss Paraguay, Nadia Ferreira, was first runner-up.
“I am overwhelmed to have made it into the Top 3 of the competition,” Mswane said after the pageant.
“The whole experience has been beyond my wildest expectations. Congratulations to Harnaaz and Nadia and all the other contestants who made this journey so special. I am deeply thankful to all the amazing people who have supported and uplifted me.”
The 24-year-old Mswane – who comes from KwaSokhulu in Richards Bay – represented South Africa against contestants from 80 other countries in the competition.
She was one of the front runners throughout the build-up to the finale, impressing the judges in the national costume competition on Friday where she wore a white outfit by the Costume Department with white feathers symbolising a Dove of Peace.
In her final speech before the winner was announced, Mswane urged young women to “choose courage over comfort.”
“I would like young women to know that since the beginning of time they have had everything within them to achieve anything they wanted, it is the
world that convinced that we do not,” she said.
At the time of winning the Miss South Africa title in October this year, Mswane had graduated with a Bachelor of Law from the University of Pretoria.
She is also a model and a dancer.
– CAJ News