Hot hunks flex their muscle over Mr SA’s ‘missing’ money

All is not well in the world of Mr South Africa – the country’s premier men’s beauty pageant. Good looks and big sponsors are on the line as allegations fly that pageant money has gone missing.

In a few weeks’ time Mr South Africa will host a glitzy finale showcasing the finest-looking men in South Africa.

But contestants want to know what happened to the money they raised for the event, which was to have been held at the end of last year but was postponed to the end of 2016. To their surprise, they were instructed to strut their stuff once again and raise more money for the pageant.

Their questions have raised the ire of the pageant’s owner and organiser, Rudi Baker.

Mpumalanga-born Nicholas Mashiane was unceremoniously axed from the competition when he demanded an account of the monies raised by the top 50 beauty kings last year.


Nicholas Mashiane
Nicholas Mashiane. (G3 Models)

Mashiane claims he personally raised R6 000. “Each person had to raise a minimum of R5 000 – and at that time there were 50 contestants. We did [raise the money]. I remember one guy raised about R100 000,” he said.

Mashiane says they deposited the money into Baker’s bank account.

A flurry of heated messages were exchanged between the pageant kingpin and some of the contestants when they were asked to fundraise once again.

Mashiane led the charge. “I went to a local newspaper to highlight my fundraising. I was asked what happened to the competition last year. I couldn’t answer.

“I [then] sent Rudi a WhatsApp asking about last year’s money.”

Baker allegedly responded to warn him that he would “not hesitate to eliminate you should this happen again”, further cautioning him to “please be careful”.

“Feel free to direct those questions to me, Nick. I will not have an instigator as part of the semi finalists. If this is the way you think you will win, you are mistaken. In fact this was your last threat or negative comment about the brand, or anyone associated with Mr SA or the contestants,” reads Baker’s WhatsApp.

Mr South Africa organiser Rudi Baker
Mr South Africa organiser Rudi Baker. (Facebook)

A few weeks later Mashiane was handed a letter of suspension.

Another former contestant, who did not want to be named, said he worked really hard to raise funds, which was especially difficult because he comes from a rural area.

“Many of us were angry that all the work we put in last year didn’t get us anywhere,” he said.

Asked what had happened to the money, Baker said it was used for running the business.

“Unlike Miss South Africa, the brand is not owned by a corporate sponsor, ie Sun International, that can fund the operating expenses incurred. Mr South Africa is [a] privately owned and self-funded business,” he said.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Athandiwe Saba
Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba is a multi award-winning journalist who is passionate about data, human interest issues, governance and everything that isn’t on social media. She is an author, an avid reader and trying to find the answer to the perfect balance between investigative journalism, online audiences and the decline in newspaper sales. It’s a rough world and a rewarding profession.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Ithala fails to act against board chairperson over PPE scandal

Morar asked to settle with the state and pay back the profit he made on an irregular tender

Vodacom swindled out of more than R24m worth of iPhones

A former employee allegedly ran an intricate scam to steal 8700 phones from the cellular giant

More top stories

Judicial Conduct Committee orders Mogoeng to apologise for his remarks...

The JCC said that by the chief justice straying into politics, he breached the judicial conduct code and ordered him to issue an apology and retraction

Millers pay for duty-free wheat quota

The South African Revenue Services didn’t gazette the EU quota rates for about month, with no reasons given – and then suddenly published them

Austerity budget unpacked

The finance minister has said it’s not an austerity project. But the numbers and economists disagree

Will job creation schemes fix the unemployment crisis?

Experts say there is no evidence yet to show that government-funded employment schemes work long term
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…