Mrs SA finalist speaks out: ‘I was treated like a slave and a fool’

“Mrs South Africa is the number one pageant for married women in South Africa and is seen as a women empowering programme, not a beauty pageant in the traditional sense of the word.”

This is how the Mrs SA pageant is described on its website. But recently the pageant has been in hot water after contestant, Chandré Goosen-Joubert voiced her take on how contestants are treated. Goosen-Joubert entered the pageant with hopes that she would walk away with the crown, but in the end was announced Mrs Charity on the 18 March at the crowning.

She had hoped to make a difference and to empower other women but it took a massive turn as she allegedly discovered that the pageant was a “scheme to make money”.  Speaking to a national publicaton, she explained that she was bullied into raising money for the Mrs SA owner Joani Johnson. She also allegedly spent R1.8 million on organising functions, acquiring sponsors and purchasing productions.

Goosen-Joubert said she was treated like a slave and a fool. She also said that workshops on business and life skills were to be offered to participants — but in the end, no workshops have taken place.

“Throughout the competition, we only had to listen to talks about how to raise money for Mrs SA, and how to market their sponsors’ products on social media,” she said.

Joani Johnson sent an urgent application to the Western Cape High Court asking for all criticism about Mrs SA by Goosen-Joubert to be removed from social media.

In her application, she also asked for online news website uSpiked, to remove an article she found defamatory with the headline “Mrs Scam Africa: How Mrs South Africa became an ugly pageant”.

However, Johnson’s application was rejected by the court last week. Johnson further mentioned that Goosen-Joubert became “vindictive” when she refused to accept the Mrs Charity title on her Instagram account. She called Goosen-Jourbert a “dissatisfied loser”, emphasising that her statements were malicious and false.

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