TV features Pistorius' slain girlfriend

Last wish was that family watch her on reality show
2013-02-17T00:00:00Z 2013-09-10T17:03:54Z TV features Pistorius' slain girlfriendThe Associated Press The Associated Press
February 17, 2013 12:00 am  • 

JOHANNESBURG - Reeva Steenkamp's last wish for her family before she was shot to death at boyfriend Oscar Pistorius' home was for them to watch her in a reality TV show that went on the air in South Africa Saturday night, two days after her killing.

Sharon Steenkamp, Reeva's cousin, told The Associated Press that the model and law graduate was "proud of being in the show" and asked them in their last conversation to make sure they watched it.

The South African Broadcasting Corp. aired the "Tropika Island of Treasure" program, showing the late Steenkamp - the victim of a Valentine's Day shooting at Pistorius' home - laughing and smiling in Jamaica when it was filmed last year.

South Africans saw her swimming in the ocean and watching people jump off a cliff and into the sea.

The country was rocked Thursday when news broke of Steenkamp's shooting death at the upscale house of the Olympic star and double-amputee athlete. Pistorius was arrested and charged with her murder.

Steenkamp's family said earlier Saturday that they had been contacted by neither the SABC - South Africa's national broadcaster - nor the show's producers for permission to air it, but were not opposed to it because Reeva wanted everyone to see it.

"Her last words to us personally was that she wants us to watch it," Sharon Steenkamp said, hours before the program was shown.

The show's executive producer, Samantha Moon, said going ahead with the show "is what she would have wanted."

Steenkamp, 29, a model who graduated from law school, died after being shot four times, police said. She is known in South Africa for appearing in commercials and as a bikini-clad model in men's magazines.

Pistorius and Steenkamp met Nov. 4 at the Kyalami racetrack, which sits between the capital of Pretoria and Johannesburg and has been used for Grand Prix and Formula 1 races, said Justin Divaris, a mutual friend.

Divaris said his own girlfriend was a close friend to Steenkamp. The two immediately hit it off and decided on the spur of the moment to attend a sports award ceremony together the same night, Divaris said. At the time, Pistorius had been dating another woman, and his personal life was constant fodder for gossip pages.

Later, however, problems may have started, as police have said there were previous domestic altercations at Pistorius' home in a gated community near Pretoria.

A Steenkamp family spokesman said late Friday that relatives still faced a long struggle to come to terms with her killing.

"I can't see the family getting over this shortly," Reeva's uncle, Mike Steenkamp, said.

Family members plan for a memorial service next week for the model in Port Elizabeth, her hometown on South Africa's southern coast.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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