Minki the sexiest in SA

2004-05-23 21:25

Cape Town - "It felt like I was being crowned Miss South Africa!"

So said the 20-year-old model Minki van der Westhuizen, who was crowned the sexiest woman in South Africa by the men's magazine FHM in Cape Town on Saturday.

Van der Westhuizen, who ended up in 36th place in last's year's poll, beat experienced models such as Kerry McGregor and Megan McKenzie, who came in at fifth and sixth place this year.

Lee-Ann Liebenberg, a former finalist in the Miss South Africa competition, was the runner-up in a titanic battle for the first place.

"It is one of the highlights of my career so far," Van der Westhuizen said on Sunday about her victory.

The young model and girlfriend of the South African cricket captain Graeme Smith started her modelling career while she was still at school.

Last year she became famous internationally when she was named the most popular pin-up girl for American soldiers doing duty in Iraq.

"You don't tend to get a lot of recognition for what you do in the modelling industry. So something like this is truly a great honour," she said.

Asked about her 35-place climb since last year, she said she reckons more people noticed her during this past year.

Van der Westhuizen said she does surprisingly little to make herself look like the sexiest woman in South Africa.

"I don't find it important to look sexy every day. I'm happiest in jeans and slops, but apparently I have something other people find sexy."

She said Smith also attended the crowning function on Saturday evening. "He's just as excited as I am and is very proud of me."

She's not sure which route her career will take in the future but she said she will be "blessed" if she could be a professional model for another eight or nine years.

"Then I would be keen to work in television and possibly have my own programme. The award will definitely open doors for me later," she said.

The pop sensation Britney Spears was crowned as FHM's sexiest woman in the world. reports Spears telling FHM in Germany that she doesn't find herself sexy. "I don't understand how I became every man's fantasy," she is reported to have said.

Charlize Theron, who wasn't even in the top 20 last year, clinched the ninth place this year. South Africa has nine women amongst the top 20.