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Miss South Africa Crowned Miss Universe 2017

Miss South Africa 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has been crowned Miss Universe, becoming the first Miss South Africa to take this prestigious title since Margaret Gardiner won in 1978.

At the pageant, held in Las Vegas in the US, an ecstatic Demi-Leigh competed against 91 contestants from around the globe – the biggest number of entrants in the history of the competition – and justified the faith thousands of South Africans had that she would win.

Runners-up were Miss Colombia (first princess) and Miss Jamaica (second princess).

Miss Universe: Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters Crowning Moment

The new #MissUniverse is… Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters from South Africa! 👑 🇿🇦

Posted by Miss Universe on Sunday, November 26, 2017

Nel-Peters, 22, recently earned her degree in business management at North-West University.

During a pre-taped interview, the Western Cape native talked about how her experience being held at gunpoint made her passionate about training women in self-defense. She plans to bring that passion, along with a self-defense program she helped develop, to the Miss Universe platform.

During the competition’s Q&A portion, the newly crowned Miss Universe was asked about the most important issue she thought was facing women in the workplace.

“In some places, women get paid 75% of what men earn for doing the same job, working the same hours — and I do not believe that this is right,” she said. “I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world.”

Miss Colombia and Miss Jamaica also impressed the judges during the Q&A segment, answering questions on how to talk to children about terrorism and sexual harassment, respectively.

“Sexual harassment is a form of abuse and no abuse should be tolerated whether in the workplace or in society,” Bennett said. “I believe that men and women should come together and be professional.”

A message for you from the new @missuniverse, our very own @demileighnp 👑 #MissUniverse #SouthAfrica

A post shared by Miss South Africa (@official_misssa) on

The competition’s top 13  finalists were Thailand, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Spain, Ireland, Croatia, Great Britain, USA, Brazil, Canada, Philippines, Venezuela, and China.

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