Miss SA organisers defend decision to ban 3 tattooed finalists

Three of the 24 contestants were disqualified for having visible tattoos.

The 2015 Miss SA semi-finalists. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Organisers of the Miss South Africa pageant say they stand by their decision to ban three finalists because of their tattoos.

Three of the 24 contestants, namely Kelly Davids, Altina Vries and Aseza Matanzima, were disqualified for having visible tattoos, as this breaks one of the competition's long standing rules.

The pageant's Claudia Henkel says that Davids has a tattoo on the back of her neck which is visible when her hair is up, Vries has a tattoo across the left shoulder blade and behind an ear, while Matanzima's tattoo runs across a rib and goes underneath her left arm.

Henkel says although Matanzima had declared during her on-camera interview that she had a tattoo, she did not indicate that on her application form.

Henkel says the judges only learnt of this last week.

"The judging panel only intimately got to view the girls' tattoos last week when they did their bikini parade. This is when we for the first time as a judging panel got to see that video footage."

Miss South Africa 2015 will be crowned on 29 March at Sun City.