SOUTH Africa’s national broadcaster SABC last night pressed ahead with the screening of a reality TV show featuring Reeva Steenkamp.
The 29-year-old model was shot dead in Pretoria in the early hours of Thursday morning. Olympic champion Oscar Pistorius has been charged with her murder.
The show’s executive producer, Samantha Moon, said Steenkamp’s family wanted the show to go ahead. Moon said the family “wants it on. This is how they want to remember her”.
The pre-recorded show, Tropika Island of Treasure, filmed in in Jamaica, features Steenkamp and other personalities competing for one million rand (£73,000) prize money. The first episode was screened last night in South Africa after a short tribute to the model and law graduate.
Reeva’s cousin, Sharon Steenkamp, said the family had not been consulted by anyone from the show or SABC, but they were not against it being aired because Reeva “was proud of being in the show”. She added: “Her last words to us personally were that she wants us to watch it.”
A Steenkamp family spokesman said 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. “It’s going to be a long, long-term reconciliation with a lot of things and issues.”
He said there would be a memorial service for Reeva in her home town of Port Elizabeth, on South Africa’s southern coast.
Yesterday, Pistorius’s uncle said in a statement that the couple had been happy. “They had plans together and Oscar was happier in his private life than he had been for a long time,” Anthony Pistorius said.
He added that the family were devastated. “We are in a state of total shock – firstly about the tragic death of Reeva who we had all got to know well and care for deeply over the last few months. All of us saw at first hand how close she had become to Oscar during that time and how happy they were.”
Pistorius is being held in a Pretoria police station before the resumption of his bail hearing on Tuesday.