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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15597
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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I entered a beauty pageant that has always promoted itself

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I entered a beauty pageant that has always promoted itself as an organisation that focuses on environmental sustainability projects. At the gala evening I was announced an ambassador. We were required to raise money for environmental projects but there is no transparency as to where this money goes and how it is used. The company is not an NPO. We are expected at our own cost and time to attend all sorts of events on behalf of the company promoting their brand. We are told that we will attend no less than 8 events per month however they expect us to do much more. What are my rights? I feel as though I may as well be in a SWEAT shop. I feel like I am being completely exploited for their own personal gain. Furthermore before I entered this pageant I had contracts in place with modelling agencies which they are fully aware of. They are now demanding I give them 25% of all my earnings regardless of the fact that they are not managing or promoting my modelling career.
Good day.

This is an info request to assist you better. Please continue on this thread.

Was it a condition of entry that you will relinquish 25% of all income unrelated to the competition to them?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Unfortunately my daughter signed the contract under duress. She is only 19 years old and recently out of school. Contestants were given less than 12 hours to submit a signed contract back while they were touring with the organisers. It was a case of them receiving the contract at 8h00 pm in the evening before they were rushed to an event. They got back to their hotel after midnight exhausted and the next morning they were told their signed contracts had to be submitted. I guess on my daughters part she has entered into something out of pure ignorance. My bigger concern though is how the winners of which she is one is being abused and forced to attend functions for a company that is not registered as an NPO. She receives absolutely no compensation to promote their brand.

Okay, so the contract does have something like that in it?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


And this is not a registered charity?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No it is not a registered charity. They are a registered company. They use the girls to promote their brand and are involved in environmental sustainability projects for which they receive donations and the girls were required to raise money as well, but there is absolutely no disclosure or transparency as to what happens to the money that these girls raise. My daughter may as well be in a SWEAT shop in terms of the demands they are making on her to attend functions in her own time and at her own cost. She receives NO COMPENSATION whatsoever and they now want to control her existing contracts which were already in place with modelling agencies.

Finally, what does the contract say? What can they do if she refuses to do what they say?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They will relinquish her title and she can be sued for damages.


It is very difficult for me to advise you properly without the contract, but from the information provided, I can think of a couple of ways in which this contract can be attacked:

1. The first is the fact that they were forced to sign the agreement without having an opportunity to read it first and that, if she did, she would have never signed it.

2. Another angle of attack is that this is an employment agreement. She is obligated to attend functions to promote the brand of this company. It is not voluntary and as such, they are in charge of her time. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act prohibits employment contracts that obligates employees from working for free. This is more commonly known as slavery and is unconstitutional. Thus, the whole agreement may be illegal.

3. If it can be established that the company is committing fraud, through collecting monies under the banner of environmental issues and then using those funds to enrich the company, directors or shareholders. So, this would mean that the contract she has with them is illegal, since it existence promotes an illegal purpose.

In my opinion, you should find a good commercial litigation attorney to take these guys on. A directory of attorneys can be found at

I hope this helps you a little bit, but if you have follow up questions before you rate, feel free to ask them at no extra cost. If you are satisfied with the service, kindly rate it positively. I do not get anything unless you rate the service.
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