Radio and TV personality Anele Mdoda is returning on the judging panel for the 2020 Miss SA pageant.
The 947 presenter will be joined by former Miss SA winners Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala (2010), Liesl Laurie (2015) and Adè van Heerden (2017).
Mdoda was part of the panel that crowned Zozibini Tunzi last year before she was named Miss Universe as well as Rolene Strauss who went on to win Miss World in 2014.
“It's never about the judges; it is the belief the young women have in themselves. We just serve as a springboard. The crown finds the contestant while she is looking for it,” Mdoda said
“I have always looked for authenticity and a strong sense of self. You can see it almost immediately when you meet a contestant.
“Zozi walked in and shook all our hands, with a little dip as she greeted, manners from home. It’s who she is – solid and authentic – and she remained like that from the beginning and through all the rounds until she took both crowns.
“When you are authentic, you do not need to remember who you said you are.”
This year Miss SA has received more than 2,500 entries received – a record number for the organisation.
Next the judges will select 35 contestants to participate in the virtual interview rounds. After that the top 16 will be announced.
“We are not looking for the next Zozi. We want the first you. Be true to yourself,” Mdoda said.
“During the judging processes, I have seen a lot of entrants going through all the news channels and reading every newspaper because there is fear that we as judges want to catch them out. We don't.”
CEO of the Miss South Africa Organisation Stephanie Weil added: “We are delighted with the number of entries received and the excitement surrounding this year’s pageant, which is reflected in those record numbers. We are also thrilled with the quality of entrants and believe that the judges are going to have a hard time choosing 16 semifinalists.”