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 Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid