Reigning Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane was a step closer to realising her dream of becoming Miss Universe as she made it to the top three finalists at an event held in Eilat, Israel, on Monday morning.
She was crowned the second runner up, with Miss Paraguay Nadia Ferreira the first runner-up and India’s Harnaaz Sandhu taking the Miss Universe crown.
Mswane, who received little support from fellow South Africans, wowed the judges in Israel despite the criticism she received when entering the Miss Universe competition.
On December 10, during the prelims where all the Miss Universe contestants presented national costumes, the Richards Bay beauty wore a white outfit by the Costume Department with white feathers symbolising a Dove of Peace.
She stole the show when she showcased her ballerina moves in her “Dove of Peace Costume”.
About making it to the top three, she said: “I am overwhelmed to have made it into the Top 3 of the competition. The whole experience has been beyond my wildest expectations.
“Congratulations to Harnaaz and Nadia and all the other contestants who made this journey so special. I am deeply thankful to all the amazing people who have supported and uplifted me.”
Look: Mswane’s costumes at Miss Universe finals
The show, which was screened live in South Africa on 1Magic (DStv channel 103), was hosted by comedian Steve Harvey.