TV channel defends decision to air Pistorius' dead girlfriend's reality show

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 17, 2013 06:34 hrs

London: A South African television channel has defended their decision to air reality show featuring Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot dead at the Paralympic star's home on Thursday.

The producer of the SABC show, Samantha Moon, told a British channel that the decision was taken after consulting the family, BBC reports.

The reality show, Tropika Island of Treasure was aired on Saturday evening, the paper said.

Moon said the decision to air the programme had nothing to do with ratings, adding she took the decision after consultation with Steenkamp's family.

Moon added the feeling was that Steenkamp is an amazing woman who you don't have very much in the public domain except for the work she was most well known for... which is her modelling work.

Moon further said they felt that it was important for people to know that there was more to the narrative of Steenkamp than an exceptionally beautiful girl in a bikini, that she was strong and vibrant and funny and lovely and that this is a tragedy on an unspeakable level.

Reeva's cousin, Sharon Steenkamp, told the Associated Press news agency the family did not oppose the airing, saying, her sister's last words to them personally were that she wants them to watch it.

However, one South African TV critic, Thinus Ferreira, said the motives were questionable and very much about the commercial considerations, addingd that if the show had been pulled it would have upset sponsors, advertising and scheduling.

The audience was expected to be far higher than the 2.5 million to 3 million who usually watch the show, now in its fifth season, the paper said. 

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