New Miss SA fulfilling 'lifelong dream'

Zokufa says although she has big shoes to fill, she’s delighted and humbled to carry the SA flag.

Newly-crowned Miss South Africa Ziphozakhe Zokufa. Picture: Twitter via @Claudia_Henkel.

JOHANNESBURG - The newly-crowned Miss South Africa says she's more than ready to fulfil her new role.

Ziphozakhe Zokufa was crowned at a glitzy affair in Johannesburg yesterday, replacing Rolen Strauss who was crowned Miss World on Sunday.

Zokufa says although she has big shoes to fill, she's delighted and humbled to carry the South African flag as the new Miss South Africa.

The a 23-year-old Port Elizabeth model and TV production student will also represent South Africa at the upcoming Miss Universe Pageant which takes place in Miami, Florida in January next year.

She said Strauss will be a wonderful ambassador for South Africa.

"I got to know Rolene well during the run up to Miss South Africa 2014 earlier this year and was thrilled when she was crowned Miss World at the weekend."

Asked what she wanted to bring to the role as Miss South Africa, Zokufa said: "This has been a lifelong dream for me. I am excited at the opportunities to continue inspiring the young women of South Africa and the country as a whole. This has always been something I have strived for and I can't wait to immerse myself in the role."

Strauss has said she is proud to have won Miss World.

Hungary's Edina Kulcsár came second and Elizabeth Safrit, representing the United States, came third.

Strauss, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Free State, is the third South African to win the title.

Previous winners are Penelope Anne Coelen, in 1958 and Anneline Kriel, who took the crown in 1974.

Kriel was first princess in the event, but took over as Miss World when the original winner, Helen Morgan, resigned after four days when it emerged that she had a child.

This year's pageant, the 64th, was marred by tragedy after a Honduran beauty queen was found shot dead in a suspected crime of passion days before she was due to take part.

The pageant's 124 contestants travelled to the Oxford Union society earlier this month to discuss whether such competitions still had a place in modern society.

British media reported that some students from Oxford University were disappointed that the event failed to generate a lively debate on the subject.