Miss World 2014 Rolene Strauss on Saturday walked out of the arrivals terminal of OR Tambo International Airport to loud cheers, whistles and ululation as South Africans welcomed her home.
Dressed in a blue and white floral print dress – that matched her pageant crown and sash – she waved to the crowd and smiled broadly as photographers snapped away.
The Free State medical student then walked to a stage erected at the airport and sat next to Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula.
Strauss, of Volksrust in Mpumalanga, was crowned Miss World 2014 in London on December 14.
Rolene arrives to hero’s welcome
The group sang Shosholoza which the crowd joined in. The group gathered at the airport grew as more people flocked to get a glimpse of Strauss.
Placards and flags were held aloft as people danced.
One placard read: “Marry me Rolene”.
Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula was expected to be at the airport.
Itumeleng Mashele said she was at the airport to celebrate Strauss’s achievement as she had represented South Africa very well.
“It has not happened since 1974 that a South African has won the title. We are here to celebrate with her,” she said.
Strauss, of Volksrust in Mpumalanga, was expected to arrive by 10am.
The 22-year-old was crowned Miss World 2014 in London on December 14.
The last time a South African won the title was in 1974 when Anneline Kriel was crowned Miss World.