TV show with Pistorius’ dead girlfriend airs

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 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 her 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.

SABC aired the reality show on its main channel, which

prominently featured Steenkamp.

The show’s executive producer, Samantha Moon, said going ahead

with the show ”is what she would have wanted.”

Steenkamp, a 29-year-old blonde model who graduated from law

school, died after suffering four gunshot wounds, police said.

Officers recovered a 9-mm pistol from Pistorius’ house and quickly

charged the Olympian with murder for Steenkamp’s killing.

Pistorius will appear in court Tuesday for a bail hearing,

something police have said they oppose. Prosecutors also say they

will pursue upgraded charges of premeditated murder against him,

which means the disabled icon and double-amputee runner could face

a life sentence.

Steenkamp was known in South Africa for appearing in commercials

and as a bikini-clad model in men’s magazines.

Pistorius and Steenkamp met Nov. 4 at the Kyalami race track,

which sits between Pretoria and Johannesburg and has been used for

Grand Prix and Formula 1 races, said Justin Divaris, a mutual

friend.

Divaris said his own girlfriend was a close friend to Steenkamp.

Pistorius and Steenkamp immediately hit it off and decided in the

spur of the moment to attend a sports award ceremony together the

same night, Divaris said. At the time, Pistorius had been dating

another woman and his personal life was constant fodder for gossip

pages.

Later, however, problems may have started, as police have said

there were previous domestic altercations at Pretorius’ home in a

gated community near South Africa’s capital, Pretoria.

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,” said

Reeva’s uncle, Mike Steenkamp. ”It’s going to be a long, long-term

reconciliation with a lot of things and issues.”

Family members plan for a memorial service Tuesday for the model

in Port Elizabeth, her hometown on South Africa’s southern coast.

Pistorius has a court appearance scheduled in Pretoria on the same

day for his lawyers to argue that he can be released on bail.

Portions released earlier Saturday of the reality show,

sponsored by a milk fruit drink, feature Steenkamp laughing and

smiling on the beaches of Jamaica. Another portion shows her

swimming with two dolphins, which tap her on the cheek with their

snouts.

”I think the way that you go out, not just your journey in

life, but the way that you go out and the way you make your exit is

so important,” Steenkamp says in the video. ”You either made an

impact in a positive or a negative way, but just maintain integrity

and maintain class and just remain true to yourself.

”I’m going to miss you all so much and I love you very, very

much.”

Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell contributed to this

report.

Gerald Imray can be reached at

http://twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP