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  • 17 February 2013, 11:37

Pistorius: Girlfriend's TV Show Goes Ahead

A reality show featuring the dead girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius has aired, as his family says the paralympian is numb with grief over her death.

Tropika Island of Treasure, showing Reeva Steenkamp on location in Jamaica last year, was broadcast on Saturday night despite her shocking death on St Valentine's Day.

Miss Steenkamp, who had been going out with Pistorius since November, was shot four times at his house in a heavily guarded complex in Pretoria on Thursday.

Local media have reported that she was shot through a bathroom door. A 9mm pistol was found at the scene.

The decision to air the show emerged as Pistorius' uncle said the athlete was "numb with shock, as well as grief" as he remained in custody facing charges of premeditated murder.

In the family's first public comments since the shooting, Arnold Pistorius said they were "in total shock" by what he called an "unimaginable human tragedy".

Tropika Island of Treasure producers said Miss Steenkamp's family wanted her appearance on the reality show for South Africa's national broadcaster to be aired as a tribute.

Before the programme aired a poignant pre-recorded interview with Miss Steenkamp was released in which the 29-year-old talked about the importance of leaving a positive mark in life.

"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," Miss Steenkamp said 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."

Tropika Island of Treasure sees celebrities paired with contestants and put through a series of challenges as they compete for a cash prize.

Executive producer Samantha Moon said: "This is how they want to remember her. This is what she would have wanted. She was happy, healthy, beautiful and vibrant and that's the way she should be remembered."

Spokesman for broadcaster SABA, Kaizer Kganyago, said: "The mother agreed that we should go ahead and we are free to go ahead. We are working on how to pay tribute to her."

Miss Steenkamp's cousin, Sharon Steenkamp, said she "was proud of being in the show".

"Her last words to us personally was that she wants us to watch it," she said.

Production company Stimulii said it was "devastated" by the model's death and described her as a "wonderful human being" with a "zest for life".

Pistorius, who made history by competing in both the Olympics and Paralympics last year, sobbed through his first court appearance on Friday.

He is being held in a police cell ahead of a new hearing on February 19, when prosecutors are set to oppose any request for bail.

The chief magistrate delayed the bail hearing until next week at the request of the defence, who asked for more time.

A statement issued by Pistorius' family and management following the initial hearing said: "The alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms."

And in Saturday's statement, Arnold Pistorius insisted there was "no substance" to the allegation of premeditated murder "or indeed any murder at all" as he spoke of his nephew's happiness with the model and rising star.

"They had plans together and Oscar was happier in his private life than he had been for a long time," he told the Associated Press.

"Words cannot adequately describe our feelings. The lives of our entire family have been turned upside down forever by this unimaginable human tragedy and Reeva's family have suffered a terrible loss.

"As a family we are trying to be strong and supportive to Oscar as any close family would be in these dreadful circumstances.

"We deeply regret the allegation of premeditated murder. 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."

Premeditated murder carries a mandatory life sentence in South Africa. If found guilty, Pistorius would not be eligible for parole for 25 years.

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