Reality show with Pistorius girlfriend upsets South Africa

Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:23am EST
 

By Ed Cropley

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - It was billed as a fitting tribute to "an intelligent, beautiful and amazing woman" but the airing of a Caribbean reality TV show featuring the girlfriend of Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius two days after she was shot dead has upset some South Africans.

In particular, women's rights activists criticized an edited clip at the start of Saturday night's 'Tropika Island of Treasure' in which law graduate and model Reeva Steenkamp talks about her "exit".

"I think that the way you go out, not just your journey in life but the way that you go out and you make your exit is so important," she says, leaning against a palm tree in a pre-recorded interview on the show's set in Jamaica.

At the end of the tribute, presumably recorded when she was voted off the show, she blows kisses to the camera and says: "I'm going to miss you all so much. I love you very, very much."

Pistorius was charged on Friday with murdering Steenkamp in the early hours of the previous day, although his family have denied the charge. Initial reports said Pistorius may have mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder.

Rachel Jewkes, a gender and health researcher at the South African Medical Research Council (MRC), said the clips were particularly insensitive in a country where a woman is estimated to be killed by her partner every eight hours.

"There was a big question about whether it should have been shown at all, or whether they were trying to get audience ratings off the fact she had died," Jewkes said.

"These sort of quotes don't make you feel any better about the suggestion they are exploiting her death."   Continued...

 
Oscar Pistorius (R) and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp pose for a picture in Johannesburg, February 7, 2013. South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, was charged on February 14, with shooting dead his girlfriend at his home in Pretoria. REUTERS/Thembani Makhubele