Slain Pistorius girlfriend leaves haunting TV message
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – A celebrity television show on Saturday aired haunting footage of Oscar Pistorius’s slain girlfriend speaking about the need to leave a positive mark on life, words laden with unintended poignancy two days after her shocking death.
“Not just your journey in life, but the way that you go out and make your exit is so important, you have either made an impact in a positive way or a negative way,” Reeva Steenkamp said in the celebrity reality TV show.
The 29-year-old model and law school graduate was shot four times at Pistorius’s home in the early hours of Valentine’s Day on Thursday in a case that shocked the country and topped news broadcasts around the world.
Pistorius – a national icon who inspired people around the world when he became the first double amputee to compete against able-bodied athletes in the Olympic Games last year — remained in a police cell on Saturday, charged with murdering his girlfriend in cold blood.
His uncle on Saturday gave the strongest indication yet that the star athlete, who broke down sobbing during his initial court appearance the previous day, would plead not guilty to the charges against him.
“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,” Arnold Pistorius said in a statement.
“We are all grieving for Reeva, her family and her friends,” he said.
“Oscar – as you can imagine – is also numb with shock as well as grief.”
The track star faces a life sentence if convicted of premeditated murder, as alleged by state prosecutors.
Arnold Pistorius added that the couple “had plans together.”
“Oscar was happier in his private life than he had been for a long time.”
On Saturday, television offered the world a small glimpse of the less well-known half of the doomed couple. A one minute tribute before “Tropika Island of Treasure” showed Steenkamp appearing contemplative and at ease with herself, sitting beneath a beach-front palm, dressed in a strappy top and a yellow, black and dotted bikini, with her blonde hair tied back.
Looking deep into the camera, she also offered some advice to the up to three million people who watch the show every week.
“Just maintain integrity and maintain class and just always be true to yourself,” she said in what now sounds like a soliloquy on a life cut short.