News / Africa

TV Show Featuring Slain 'Blade Runner' Girlfriend Airs in South Africa

Reeva Steenkamp is seen in an undated handout publicity photo taken in Jamaica during the shooting of the reality show 'Tropika Island of Treasure.'Reeva Steenkamp is seen in an undated handout publicity photo taken in Jamaica during the shooting of the reality show 'Tropika Island of Treasure.'
x
Reeva Steenkamp is seen in an undated handout publicity photo taken in Jamaica during the shooting of the reality show 'Tropika Island of Treasure.'
Reeva Steenkamp is seen in an undated handout publicity photo taken in Jamaica during the shooting of the reality show 'Tropika Island of Treasure.'
Anita Powell
South African television Saturday broadcast a reality show featuring running star Oscar Pistorius's girlfriend, who was shot to death this past week at his Pretoria home. The show aired just days after the Olympic athlete was charged with murdering her.  It is another twist in an already shocking case that has made headlines around the world.

Here is Reeva Steenkamp in her own words:

“I’m going to miss you all so much,” she says to the camera in a video tribute aired just days after her death, “and I love you very, very much.”

"The way that you go out and make your exit is so important, you either made an impact in a positive way or a negative way," Steenkamp is heard saying in the program, "Tropika Island of Treasure," the South African reality series now in its fifth season.

In the premiere of the 10-episode show, Steenkamp shows herself as a woman who is determined, adventurous, thoughtful and considerate of other contestants - but also, a bit cheeky.

“Be jealous,” the leggy blonde model says as she speaks from a white sand beach while wearing a bikini and blowing kisses at the camera. The reality show, which was filmed in Jamaica this season, subjects 14 contestants to physical and mental challenges in a bid to narrow the field to one winner, who receives about $113,000 dollars.

The series' producer defended the decision to air the program after Steenkamp's death, saying she would have wanted the show to go on.

The program's lavish setting is reminiscent of Steenkamp’s life in South Africa.  Her Twitter page is awash with news of glitzy parties, film sets, red carpets and fashion shoots.

But the show warns, almost prophetically, paradise is not all it seems.

In the show, contestants are asked to perform tasks that appear easy but are in reality difficult. In the first episode, Steenkamp effortlessly trounces a male competitor on an aquatic obstacle course.

In real life, Steenkamp also posted photos online of herself visiting animal shelters.  She made passionate comments against South Africa’s rape epidemic and was planning to visit a school to make a speech on the day she died. 

Police have said Steenkamp was shot four times through Pistorius’ bathroom door.  Afrikaans-language newspaper Beeld quoted a source who said Pistorius carried Steenkamp’s lifeless body to his front door and attempted, unsuccessfully, to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Charged with murder

The next day, Pistorius sobbed in a Pretoria courtroom as he was charged with murder.

Pistorius’s family has disputed the murder charge. His uncle, Arnold Pistorius, said the couple had quickly become close and that Pistorius “was happier in his private life than he had been for a long time.”

The chief prosecutor has said the team will argue the murder was pre-meditated. Legal experts say it is likely Pistorius’s team will argue self-defense.

South African legal scholar Pierre de Vos says the sympathetic portrayal of Steenkamp will not have any legal consequences. De Vos teaches at the University of Cape Town.

“If we were in a system where there was a jury trial, I would be very concerned about a reality show airing. But because we have a system in which judges decide on the guilt or innocence of a person after listening to the facts, I would suspect it probably won't have an impact, because either the judge who might hear the case is going to make sure they don't watch the reality show, or they will try and keep an open mind.”

Hagel Engler, an old friend and colleague of Steenkamp, said the TV show was just a small step on her path to fame. Engler was an editor of FHM, a popular men’s magazine that featured Steenkamp on the cover.

"I think she probably would have been cool with it. She was on a trajectory to stardom, I guess, and she wanted to be well known and I guess she wanted to be successful and famous and she was trying to build her celebrity brand.  So that's where she was headed.  And I guess the show helped to do that, and it's even more tragic that she's not around to enjoy it."

Meanwhile, if convicted, Oscar Pistorius could spend the rest of his life in prison.

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid