And Miss South Africa 2012 is ... Marilyn Ramos

Miss South Africa 2012 Marilyn Ramos. (Peter Morey)

Miss South Africa 2012 Marilyn Ramos. (Peter Morey)

Pretoria beauty Marilyn Ramos has taken the title of Miss South Africa 2012 in a glittering pageant at the Sun City Superbowl.

The 2011 runner-up Remona Moodley handed over the filigree silver and Swarovski crystal crown to the new queen on Sunday night.

Ramos said that, as Miss South Africa, she intends to approach and build relationships between the elderly and the youth. "I feel that the youth has a lot to learn from the elderly, and the seniors deserve the affection, compassion and respect of the youth."

"I intend to encourage young people to volunteer at old-age homes. I will achieve this by hosting workshops, motivational speeches and charity events. I will encourage the youth to visit retirement homes and hospice centres across the country."The 21-year-old, who is currently studying Interior Architecture at Inscape Design College in Pretoria, was an instant crowd favourite when Sunday's pageant began.

First princess was 23-year-old law student Stacey Webb from the Western Cape, and Twitter favourite Pearle Nxele was crowned second princess. The social media network's other darling Koketso Modiba from Gauteng didn't make it into the top five finalists.The Miss Congeniality prize was awarded to the Western Cape's 19-year-old Danelle De Wet.

The top five contestants – Webb, Nxele, Ramos, Charne King and Simone de Kock – were asked what was the most underrated thing in South Africa to which Ramos answered that she wouldn't be able to choose.

King's answer took everyone by surprise when she took a, perhaps, lighter approach and said that South Africa's food was the most underrated thing about the country.

(Pictures by Peter Morey)

The show, which was broadcast live on Mzansi Magic, was hosted by former Miss South Africa Jo-Ann Strauss, TV presenter and former contestant Bridget Masinga Khanti and Channel O video jockey Lungile Radu.

The crowd of about 650 guests was entertained by energetic South African performers such as ChianoSky, the Bala Brothers, Jacques Terre'Blanche, Zakes Bantwini and Toya DeLazy.

The judging panel comprised former Miss South Africa and principal judge Sonia Raciti-Oshry, Cape Talk and Talk Radio 702 talk show host Kieno Kammies, Metro FM sports anchor and TV presenter Robert Marawa, radio presenter Anele Mdoda and actress Sonia Sedibe.

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