No Action Against ‘Miss Namibia’

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK The organisers of the Miss Namibia pageant are saying they will not take action against Leefa Shiikwa who was dethroned as Miss Namibia 2005 after it was discovered that she had concealed her marital status. Consultations are however underway between the beauty pageant organisers and the sponsors of the prestigious pageant on what will happen to the numerous prizes running into tens of thousands awarded to her. The 23-year-old Shiikwa, who was the reigning Miss Namibia up until Wednesday this week, was dethroned when it came to light that she had kept the secret for the time she has been reigning. Documents in New Era’s possession reveal that Shiikwa privately got married to Angolan national 25-year-old Jose Silva De Oliveira at Okahandja on October 15, 2004. It is reported that she tied the knot at a low-key civil ceremony at the Okahandja Magistrates Court. Considering this as a breach of contract, the pageant authorities decided to immediately terminate her contract and withdraw her title as Miss Namibia. Immigration officials informed the pageant authorities about this marriage on Monday this week. Revelations were that she was married prior to taking part in the beauty pageant and did not bring the issue to the attention of the organisers of the pageant. One of the key requirements for taking part in the national beauty competition is that participants should be single before or during their reign. According to the Miss Namibia Pageant lawyer Phillip Ellis, the matter with regard to Shiikwa has been finalised and no further action will be taken against her. “We regard this matter as finished,” said the lawyer in a brief interview with New Era yesterday. However, consultations are underway with the main sponsors of the event as to what will happen to the prizes that were handed over to her when she won the Miss Namibia crown last year. Reports say that during her close to 12-month reign as Miss Namibia Shiikwa was awarded return tickets to either Frankfurt or London (Business Class) to participate in the international pageants of Miss World and Miss Universe where she represented Namibia as an ambassador. Other prizes included two return tickets to either Cape Town or Johannesburg from Air Namibia, as well as six domestic flights during the year of her reign for official appearances. Shiikwa also made use of a Toyota Tazz for one year – all insurance and contracts arranged by Pupkewitz Toyota, a cell phone and one year’s subscription, petrol for official duties from Total and amongst others a Standard Bank current account with N$3 000. The list goes on to state that Lana Dry Cleaners took care of Miss Namibia 2005’s dry cleaning needs for one year, she received complimentary tickets for two at the Swakopmund Hotel and Casino, a silver necklace, Game shopping voucher, a camera, hair care and styling using Revlon professional hair products as well as N$5 000 cash from Janeel Financial Services. The main sponsors of this event are Air Namibia, Windhoek Country Club Hotel and Casino, Pepsi, Total, Hertz Car Rental, One Africa Television, Namdeb and Pupkewitz. So far all the sponsors have agreed to support this year’s upcoming Miss Namibia 2006 Pageant, while the current position remains vacant until it is filled on May 20.