Will Idols winner lose her title?

CONFUSION REIGNS: Idols winner Sasha-Lee Davids - or is she? 07/11/09. © Sowetan.
CONFUSION REIGNS: Idols winner Sasha-Lee Davids - or is she? 07/11/09. © Sowetan.

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

M-Net's talent show Idols has been hit by controversy.

And winner Sasha-Lee Davids could be stripped of her title if an investigation reveals she was not the real winner.

This follows the Pop Idols broadcaster M-Net launching an investigation into the final day's vote.

Davids, from Cape Town, was announced the winner of the Idols 5th season on Sunday after viewers voted on an SMS line. She was up against KwaZulu-Natal's Jason Hartman.

For the first time, the voting public had 100percent say in the outcome of the competition. Davids won with 52,77percent to Jason's 47,23percent. The total votes cast was 1,796 840.

M-Net declared yesterday they were conducting an "investigation" into the SMS votes after "post-show analysis revealed that a signi Zficant number of the votes were received "after" Sunday's cut-off time of 6.05pm.

Theo Erasmus, general entertainment director of M-Net SA, said: "The moment we were alerted to possible system problems, we contacted the mobile network operators to request additional data.

"M-Net hopes to complete this audit in the shortest time possible. It is crucial that our viewers can be assured that every vote counts because accuracy is paramount in a show of this nature."

The three mobile network operators, Vodacom, Cell C and MTN, and M-Net's service provider, are all cooperating to ensure the correct result was made.

"The two finalists, Sasha-Lee and Jason, have been made aware of this investigation and will receive all the necessary support they require during this process. They have been advised the results may change."