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By Lineo Lesemane

Digital Lifestyle Journalist

Miss International SA addresses unfair treatment claims as reigning queen resigns

MISA is affiliated with one of the world’s biggest and longest-running beauty pageants based in Japan, Miss International.

Former YoTV presenter Kat Ncala, who was elected Miss International SA (MISA) sole director in 2021, has spoken out through the organisation’s Instagram page after unfair treatment allegations made by pageant winner Phomolo Tjie.

Tjie gave up her title a few days ago. In a statement, the beauty queen said she was disappointed in Ncala, who is the organiser of the competition, and Tony De Sousa, the national director of MISA.

“I was replaced unfairly in the public eye after fairly winning the title and told that I am not of standard or quality.

“I am truly disappointed in both parties (Kat Ncala and Tony De Sousa) of the organisation. But I am especially disappointed in the National Director Tony De Sousa for being unreasonable and unethical in his decision to crown someone else after I fairly won the title.”

As the winner of MISA 2023, Tjie was supposed to represent SA in Japan at the Miss International competitions later this year.

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Miss International South Africa organiser speaks out

In a statement released on MISA’s Instagram page, Ncala said she entered into a business partnership with De Sousa in 2021, “making me the inaugural host and owner of the MISA brand in South Africa in my capacity” because De Sousa did not have experience in hosting MISA.

She claimed in February this year, Tony “unjustly and unlawfully” terminated their contract.

“Mr De Sousa had regarded the quality of the 2022/23 finalists as not of ‘standard’ and not ‘quality’ without even judging them beforehand … Mr De Sousa had already identified a preferred winner, desiring her inclusion to the list after the finalists were chosen, without having to compete in any competition that made her eligible to be part of the finalists,” Ncala alleged.

Ncala said in May this year, she filed an urgent application with the High Court regarding the matter, but no verdict was reached.

“I’ve endured ridicule, deceit, defamation, and cyberbullying from Mr De Sousa. My silence is not an admission of guilt. I’m steadfast in my belief that truth will prevail in a court of law,” she said.

MISA organiser statement: Instagram stories screenshot
Kat Ncala’s Instagram stories screenshot

According to City Press De Sousa cited a lack of transparency in a letter explaining the termination.

“Breach and acting ultra vires by you in respect of the memorandum of understanding. Therefore, I hereby notify you that I am terminating [the contract] … The termination will be effective immediately.

“Kindly ensure that you remove all branding of the Miss International beauty pageant on your website and merchandise, and inform all participants that the overseas trip is no longer applicable to them.”

At the moment, there are two Instagram pages representing Miss International South Africa. One recognises Jenique Botha as the MISA 2023 winner, while the other recognised Phomolo Tjie as the MISA 2023 title holder until her recent resignation.

The Citizen contacted Tjie for additional comment, and an update will be included once received. De Sousa could not be reached for comment, and Ncala said she would not comment further on the matter.

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