By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Beautiful and brilliant Leefa Shiikwa, who has been reigning as Miss Namibia for the past almost a year was dethroned yesterday after bomb-shell revelations that she was secretly married at the time she scooped the glamorous beauty title. Yesterday it came to light that Miss Namibia 2005 kept this secret for the whole time of her reign as ambassador of the country. According to documents in New Era’s possession, 23-year old Leefa Shiikwa, born in the village of Onepandaulo in the north, got married to Angolan national 25-year-old Jose Luis Silva De Oliveira at Okahandja on October 15, 2004. Shiikwa got married in a private, civil ceremony at the Okahandja Magistrate’s court. Considering this as breach of contract, the Miss Namibia Pageant organisers had to immediately terminate her contract and withdraw her title as Miss Namibia 2005. One of the key requirements for those contesting the beauty crown is that they should be single before or during their reign. Shiikwa, who was a business administration student at the University of Namibia (Unam) outsmarted a bevy of nine other finalists to win the Miss Namibia 2005 beauty pageant, which was held at the Windhoek Country Club and Resort on June 4, 2005. At the same occasion she was also voted Miss Photogenic. The revelation came to light after immigration officials discovered the news last week and undertook week-long investigations to verify the information. The motive behind this investigation was to find out whether or not this was a marriage of convenience. There have been reports that in Namibia some foreign nationals marry Namibians in the hope of getting permanent residence and employment. This has become a very common trend in the country, which has been discovered by immigration officials. “It happens every day and we do have such cases. Sometimes it happens that when foreign suspects get out on bail, they look for a marriage of convenience to stay in the country,” said a well-placed source. When confronted by the authorities, Shiikwa acknowledged that she was married with De Oliveira, but said that it was not a marriage of convenience. She further informed them that she tied the knot at the town of Okahandja for the sake of wanting privacy. However, it turns out that the information was unknown to the pageant authorities at the time of her crowning last year. Shiikwa represented Namibia outside the country at the Miss World and Miss Universe Pageant, as well as being IT Ambassador of Telecom Namibia. New Era was informed that De Oliveira is working at Hertz Car Rental, but is currently in Angola for an unspecified period of time. Miss Namibia Pageant National Director Connie Maritz said that her contract has been terminated with immediate effect. “Terminate her contract and withdraw her title as Miss Namibia”, reads a phrase in a press statement handed to New Era yesterday. According to this statement the title of Miss Namibia will remain vacant until the crown is taken on May 20, 2006. Maritz said that the pageant authorities were not aware of the civil marriage of Shiikwa and only found out when notified by the officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration on Monday this week.
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