By Khahliso Khama & Lerato Matheka
MASERU — Limpho Moletsane has been confirmed as Miss Mazenod 2010, more than two weeks after the pageant ended in confusion over who the real winner was.
When the announcer called out the winning contestant, Limpho and Lintle Letuka both sashayed to the podium ready to receive the crown.
When the MC said Limpho, 19, was the real winner, some of the adjudicators protested alleging the result had been engineered.
Former Miss Vodacom PC FM Karabelo Mokoallo, who was one of the judges, told the Weekender that none of the two was even the winner.
She said the panel had selected Sebabatso Salemane as Miss Mazenod 2010, with Lintle and Mamohale Mohale finishing as first and second princess respectively.
None of those involved with the pageant has to date come clean on how the results were allegedly tampered with.
Mpeke Matsoai, one of the organisers, this week however told the Weekender they had decided to confirm Limpho as this year’s winner.
He said Sebabatso Salemane and Mamohale Mohale, both 17, were the first and second princesses respectively.
“We have decided to crown Limpho,” he said. “We felt it would be inhuman to deny her the crown especially when we believe she is innocent in the whole issue.”
“It would also tarnish the dignity of our pageant especially after Limpho had been announced the queen before the crowd,” he added.
“I believe that was our last time to have such misunderstandings as we have learnt a lesson when it comes to handling such crucial moments.”
Despite the mess, Limpho this week told this paper that she was excited to be confirmed Miss Mazenod 2010.
“I am glad I took the title,” she said. “This was my second time in the pageant and I was so determined to win after learning a number of lessons in last year’s pageant.”
Limpho said she was eager to make up with her fellow contestants who were not happy with her crowning in controversial circumstances.
“Even though I am excited, I fear this might have angered my fellow contestants,” she said.
“I just wish the whole situation would not cause problems. We should rather make peace.”
The pageant, for villagers in and around Mazenod, 15km south of Maseru, was inaugurated last year.
Meanwhile, it never rains but pours for the Miss Mazenod organisers.
Besides the controversy over this year’s queen, the organisers are battling to settle debts accrued during this year’s edition.
They neither have money to host the prize-giving ceremony nor for the consolation prizes for the contestants.
Only the queen and her two princesses are guaranteed of getting something thanks to a local bank.
Thabang Mapena, the Miss Mazenod treasurer, said their biggest challenge was however to settle a M1 300 debt with BAM Promotions.
“It is true we don’t have enough money to organise the award-giving ceremony for the participants of the pageant,” he said.
“Only the three winning girls have received part of their prizes from FNB whereby they walked home with M500, M300 and M200 respectively.
“But as for the rest of the girls, we are still trying to find ways to raise more money for their consolation prizes.”
Mapena said BAM Promotions, which provided free advertisement space and musicians for the pageant, had given them three weeks to settle the outstanding figure.
“We received advertising and entertainment sponsorship from the BAM Group of Companies with Informative newspaper providing an advert and BAM Promotions providing five of its artists,” he said.
“It was agreed that we would pay M2 000 but we only managed to pay them a deposit of M700.
“We communicated our problem with them and they have given us three weeks to come up with the money.”
Mapena said they had just started putting together their ticket sales to see if they could cover part of their debts.