Three Miss Varsity Cup contestants have accused the organisers of the pageant of robbing them of the opportunity to be judged fairly at what they say was a badly organised event.

One of them, Shandre Hoffmann from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) told Wits Vuvuzela, “At the last minute, one of the three judges dropped out. Then on the day, make-up ran late and one of the two remaining judges had to rush off to another commitment.”

Eight South African universities were represented by their respective pageant winners at the event that took place in Stellenbosch from April 13 to 15.

Prior to the event, Reo Brydges from Wits was confident and excited. “I feel rather well prepared. I even have a book where I write down questions that they could ask me in my interview,” she told Wits Vuvuzela.

Following the event, however, the 20-year-old was disappointed by the adjudication process. “They asked no higher-order thinking questions and nothing about Varsity Cup,” she said.

“They obviously knew whom they were going to pick because you can’t choose someone after speaking to them for two minutes,” said the first-year Education student.

The winner of Miss Varsity Cup, Aya Zantsi from Stellenbosch University, however, told a different story.

“The questions they asked me were very well-rounded and I believe the process was very objective because the judges had set questions to ask each of us,” she said.

“I was mainly asked questions regarding what I would like to do if I were crowned Miss Varsity Cup 2019,” said the 21-year-old.

Such questions were allegedly not posed to all contestants. Some reported only being asked to speak about themselves and their studies.

“The most disappointing part of the interviewing process was that we were not afforded the opportunity to draw attention to prominent issues on each of our campuses, even though this was initially promised,” said UJ’s Hoffman.

“I personally felt that my interview was quite rushed as it was only three to four minutes long,” added Miss University of Pretoria (Tuks), Jalencke Weeber.

Miss UJ also described the interview process as being quite chaotic because of the time limit.

Vuyolwethu Gabelana, the senior marketing manager from Advent Sport Entertainment and Media which organised the event, refuted the allegations. “We believe each judge spent sufficient time with each finalist. The panel consisted of two judges and together with the social media vote the winner was declared,” she told Wits Vuvuzela.

FEATURED IMAGE: Miss Varsity Cup finalists wait for the announcement of the winner.
Left to right: Shandre Hoffmann (UJ), First Princess Lesego Sathikge (North-West University), Relebohile Khesa (Central University of Technology), Miss Varsity Cup 2019 Aya Zantsi (Stellenbosch), Khuselwa Kafu (University of the Western Cape), Reo Brydges (Wits), Jalencke Weeber (Tuks) and Second Princess Michaéla Wright (University of the Free State)
Photo: Provided