TV show airs despite model’s killing 2 days before

  • Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013 11:05 p.m.
In this frame-grab from South African state television channel SABC 1 a tribute is devoted to slain model Reeva Steenkamp, girlfriend of Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius. The national broadcaster went ahead with the screening of the reality show “Tropika Island of Treasure” on Saturday.

JOHANNESBURG — Reeva Steenkamp’s last wish for her family before she was shot dead at boyfriend Oscar Pistorius’ home was for them to watch her in a reality TV show that went on the air in South Africa on 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 reminded them in their last conversation to make sure that 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 the home of Pistorius, the Olympic star and double-amputee athlete. She is laughing and smiling, and blowing a kiss toward the camera in Jamaica when it was filmed last year.

South Africans also saw her swimming in the ocean and watching people jump off a cliff and into the sea, shaking her head as they leaped.

SABC said it was dedicated to Steenkamp and displayed the words “Reeva Steenkamp 19 August 1983 — 14 February 2013” between images of a rose and a candle in a short tribute before the show aired. She was also seen blowing the kiss as she sat on a Jamaican beach and her name again appeared on screen with the years of her birth and death.

The country was rocked Thursday when news broke of Steenkamp’s shooting death at the upscale house of the star athlete. Pistorius was arrested and charged with murder and remains in custody in a police station. His family has strongly denied prosecutors’ claims that he murdered her.

Steenkamp’s family said earlier Saturday that it had not been contacted by either the SABC — South Africa’s national broadcaster — or 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 were that she wants us to watch it,” Sharon Steenkamp said, hours before the program was shown.

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