Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters waves after being crowned Miss Universe during the 66th Miss Universe pageant at Planet Hollywood hotel-casino in Las Vegas.
JOHANNESBURG - And Miss Universe 2017 is... our very own Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters!
Nel-Peters (22) -- who unleashed a big smile when she won -- hails from Western Cape Province and recently earned a business management degree from North-West University.
Nel-Peters said her disabled half-sister has been among her great inspirations.
Miss Colombia, Laura Gonzlez (22) was the first runner-up.
She has been preparing to be an actress since the age of 16. After graduating from a performing arts school, she moved to Bogot to build her career.
The second runner-up was Miss Jamaica, Davina Bennett (21). She is a model pursuing a degree in marketing at the University of the West Indies.
Nel-Peters becomes only the second South African to win the crown in nearly four decades.
Margaret Gardiner last won in 1978.
President Jacob Zuma congratulated Nel-Peters on Monday, saying: "Our nation is immensely proud of Ms Leigh for this tremendous achievement. She has hoisted the South African flag higher and continues to inspire many young women who look up to her, to reach even higher for their dreams. We congratulate her most heartily and wish her all the best during her reign which is South Africa&39;s reign."