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Sat Jul 30 03:54:52 SAST 2016

Little tat cost me big time

Gabi Mbele | 04 December, 2014 00:11
UNDER COVER: Kelly Davids pulls her hair aside to display her tattoo after she was disqualified from the Miss SA pageant
Image by: ESA ALEXANDER

Disappointed Cape Town business owner Kelly Davids said she was shocked after being disqualified from the Miss South Africa pageant for having a tattoo.

She had hoped the 5cm tattoo - a west African symbol for endurance and prosperity on the back of her neck - could pass the rules of the pageant.

Davids, who cracked the nod in the semifinals, was one of three contestants, including Northern Cape's Altina Vries and Port Elizabeth's Aseza Matanzima, who were axed from the contest for having "visible tattoos".

Pageant owner Sun International said the three were disqualified "once it came to the attention of the organisers and sponsors that they had not met the criteria as stipulated on the entry form rule".

It added: "The organisers feel it's very unfortunate that they had to lose three beautiful young women in this way."

Davids, 26, a graduate from the University of Cape Town who runs the organic spa Milq and Honey, was first announced as a top 24 semifinalist last week, but was recalled.

"I know the entry form said no visible tattoos. But my tattoo is so small and most times it can't be seen unless my hair is tied up.

"I am shocked and a little disappointed, but rules are rules," she said.

Davids said her tattoo had been "discovered" by organisers when her hair was tied up.

On Tuesday, Sun International announced three replacements for the disqualified contestants. They are Kirsten Hornby, 24, of Ruimsig in Roodepoort, Ntsiki Mkhize, 23, of Kliprivier in Midvaal, and Tegan Goldman, 22, from Port Elizabeth.

The top 10 will be announced in early February and the finals will be at Sun City on March 29.

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