Minister Susan Shabangu Congratulates Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters for Winning Miss Universe

South Africa wins Miss Universe 2017

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned Sunday during the event that took place at The AXIS theater at Planet Hollywood casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

Ntsiki Mazwai, who is also a social activist, made the declaration via Twitter following Nel-Peters' first place finish in the worldwide beauty pageant.

The triumphant 22-year-old Nel-Peters competed with 91 women from across the globe during the 66th edition of the pageant making her the second South African to be crowned Miss Universe after Margaret Gardiner.

"Our nation is immensely proud of Ms. Leigh for this tremendous achievement".

South Africa wins Miss Universe 2017

Demi-Leigh plans to share these workshops and help as many women as she can, according to the official Miss Universe website.

The Minister said also that, "she displayed poise, confidence and the true Jamaican spirit during the show".

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

Nel-Peters took the crown from Iris Mittenaere who won it in 2016 Miss Universe contest.

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Nel-Peters, who is from the Western Cape province, is a business management graduate from the North-West University.

Her passion for self-defence was reinforced when she was hijacked and held at gunpoint a month after winning her title as Miss South Africa, she said in a video on the Miss Universe website.

Miss Colombia, Laura González was the first runner-up, while Miss Jamaica, Davina Bennett was the second.

Did you watch this year's Miss Universe pageant? Nel-Peters says she will use her reign to champion HIV/Aids and self-defense causes.

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Host Steve Harvey poked fun at his 2015 botched Miss Universe crowning throughout the night. "'I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world", she said.

She then made it to the top 10 where she participated in the evening gown competition wearing a pale bluish-gray dress by designer Val Taguba. Jamaica's previous top ten placements at Miss Universe included Sandra Foster (1989), Kimberly Mais (1991) Christine Straw (2004) and Nicole Haughton (1999).

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