South Africa TV station defends airing show with Oscar Pistorius’ slain girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp

By Daniel Levine,

Reeva Steenkamp, the model girlfriend of athlete Oscar Pistorius, was a well known celebrity in South Africa before she was killed on Thursday. She had filmed a reality TV series for the network SABC, which still decided to air the show even after the tragedy. The network defended its decision.

According to The BBC, SABC aired Tropika Island of Treasure, a Survivor-like series that featured other celebrities in Jamaica competing for 1 million rand. Before the first episode aired, SABC did pay tribute to Steenkamp, 29. Producer Samantha Moon told the BBC that Steenkamp’s family approved the decision.

“We felt that it was important for people to know that there was more to the narrative of Reeva than an exceptionally beautiful girl in a bikini, that she was strong and vibrant and funny and lovely and that this is a tragedy on an unspeakable level,” Moon explained.

As we previously reported, Pistorius was charged in the murder of Steenkamp on Thursday. Pistorius’ uncle issued a statement through the Paralympic athlete’s agent, saying that the couple were planning a future together, notes Reuters.

Anthony Pistorius explained, “They had plans together and Oscar was happier in his private life than he had been for a long time.”

The statement continued, “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 firsthand how close she had become to Oscar during that time and how happy they were.”

In the statement, Anthony adds that Pistorius, a double amputee, did not plan to shoot his girlfriend. “We have no doubt there is no substance to the allegation and that the state's own case, including its own forensic evidence, strongly refutes any possibility of a premeditated murder or indeed any murder at all.”

Pistorius is being held by South African police and will be in court again on Tuesday.

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