Reeva Steenkamp's reality show to air despite murder
JOHANNESBURG (AP) - South Africa's national broadcaster will screen a reality TV show featuring the dead model girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius, it said Saturday, two days after she was shot and killed at the home of the double-amputee athlete and Paralympic superstar.
In a statement, SABC said it will air the Tropika Island of Treasure program "which features the late Reeva Steenkamp" on Saturday evening.
Pistorius was arrested and charged with the Valentine's Day murder of Steenkamp, who was shot multiple times in the predawn hours of Thursday at Pistorius' house in a gated community in the South African capital, Pretoria.
Reeva's cousin, Sharon Steenkamp, told The Associated Press later Saturday that 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."
"Her last words to us personally was that she wants us to watch it," Sharon Steenkamp said.
The show's executive producer, Samantha Moon, also said that the family wanted the show to go ahead.
"They want it on," said Moon, who works for production company Stimulii. "This is how they want to remember her. This is what she would have wanted."
SABC said the show, where the 29-year-old blonde model and law graduate was expected to be seen laughing and smiling with other contestants and being interviewed by presenters, would also act as a tribute to Steenkamp.
"Definitely the SABC is going ahead with the airing of the program today," spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said, "and we have indicated that we will put massages of condolences on the program."
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. "It's going to be a long, long-term reconciliation with a lot of things and issues."
Mike Steenkamp said there would be a memorial service for Reeva in her home town of Port Elizabeth, on South Africa's southern coast.
"Reeva's casket is being brought to PE (Port Elizabeth)," he said.