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‘An absolute honour and delight’, says Madonsela amid questions about Miss SA judging panel

03 August 2022 - 10:00
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela is one of the judges in the Miss SA 2022 pageant. File photo.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela is one of the judges in the Miss SA 2022 pageant. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

“An absolute honour and delight to be part of the selection committee of Miss SA 2022.”

These are the words of former public protector Thuli Madonsela, who was announced as this year’s judge for the beauty pageant.

Madonsela will judge with former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, radio personality Thando Thabethe, former Miss World Rolene Strauss, investigative journalist Devi Sankaree Govender, reigning Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu and Miss SA 1990 Suzette van der Merwe.

“ The talent and leadership pool among the contestants inspires hope for our country and our troubled world. It reminds me of Charlotte Maxeke’s quote about the beauty of the heart,” said Madonsela.

The announcement that Madonsela is one of the judges was met with mixed reactions, with many questioning the requirements for selecting judges.

Some cited radio personality Phat Joe’s 2019 jab at Anele Mdoda when she was announced as a judge that year, saying Madonsela was there to make up the numbers.

Coming to Madonsela’s defence, media mogul Felicia Mabuza-Suttle said the judging panel had great diversity.

“Congratulations diva. Elated the contestants will enjoy the opportunity to get close to your wisdom. Hope we will see a future professor and lawyer from the contestants. Great diverse panel of judges,” said Mabuza-Suttle.

Madonsela said in Miss SA she is looking for an inspirational leader who believes in the possibility of and is playing her part to build a more just world.

“Miss SA is a symbol of all the beauty that makes SA great. She inspires hope, goodness and valour. She aspires to nourish those around her and blooms like a rose amid the thorns. She has the ability to turn graves into gardens.

“I am looking for a virtuous woman who walks tall in her covenant blessings. A woman on an urgent mission. A woman who is not confined to one particular role but demonstrates the capacity to live a life filled with purpose,” she said.

The advice Madonsela would like to give the 10 finalists competing for the crown is self-acceptance.

“Accept yourself as you are while working to do better on things that matter, and if you fall treat that as school fees for lessons learnt and bounce forward as quickly as you can. Be wisened by the fall,” said Madonsela.

“Different seasons of life bring mixed emotions. You might find yourself feeling anxious, nervous, excited, content frazzled or even burdened but remember the challenges you are facing today don’t define you. God clearly chose you to experience this journey for a reason.

“Girdle yourselves with strength — spiritually, mentally, physically. There is a sacred light that serves as a lamp unto your feet. You were called for a time such as this so be strong and courageous, be loving and generous, stay confident and full of wisdom.”

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