Oscar Pistorius: Claims of profiteering as reality TV show featuring Reeva Steenkamp airs

 

Johannesburg

Women's rights groups in South Africa have called for proceeds from a reality television show featuring Reeva Steenkamp, whom Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is accused of murdering, to be donated to charity. The first episode of Tropika Island of Treasure was broadcast last night on South African state television, SABC, despite the death of the 29-year-old model and contestant in a shooting at the athlete's house on Thursday.

"If this programme is to be aired it should help the cause of women and children suffering from violence," Stubbs Maluleke, from South Africa's Sonke Gender Justice Network, said. "It would be very short-sighted of the producers to refuse."

Despite criticism of exploitation in some quarters, and the production company's failure to consult Ms Steenkamp's family, the celebrity challenge programme filmed in Jamaica in November was shown in a prime-time slot last night.

Samantha Moon, executive producer of the show and owner of the Johannesburg production company, Stimulii, said her firm was "in no way seeking to exploit" the model's murder and that airing the programme was the best "tribute" to Ms Steenkamp. At the same time, however, Mrs Moon was charging news outlets $3,000 each to broadcast a short clip from the television show – with at least a dozen networks buying rights.

A Cape Town-based group calling itself "RIP Reeva" condemned the decision: "Let's be honest, the only reason SABC and the producers are going ahead with the broadcast of this show is because of the increase in exposure and viewership they'll be getting.

"Not saying they should have scrapped the broadcast entirely, just delayed it, at least until after her funeral. I hope they informed her family of their plans."

Mrs Moon insisted she had spoken with family members: "They want it on. This is how they want to remember her," she said. "This is what she would have wanted."

The support group said producers should make a donation "in her name to a charity" suggesting women's rights group People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa). A spokesman for Powa partner group Lifeline, which runs emergency helplines for abused women, said they would "support calls for proceeds from the show to help causes Reeva herself had supported."

But the dead woman's cousin, Sharon Steenkamp, said the family had not been consulted by anyone from the show or SABC about the decision to broadcast. She said her cousin, whose body is being flown to her home town of Port Elizabeth, had been proud of the show. "Her last words to us personally was that she wants us to watch it," she said.

Speaking at Samantha Moon's luxury mansion home in the upscale neighbourhood of Sandown, her husband Graeme said any queries over profits from the Tropika show should be addressed to SABC. But a spokesperson from the South African broadcaster said the programme's proceeds were an issue for the production company to address.

The show was paid for by the soft drinks company Tropika, whose profits are expected to increase on the back of record ratings for the series.

The programme features a half-dozen South African celebrities competing in elimination challenges with the winners of a competition run by Tropika. The series, in its fifth outing but on SABC for the first time, was expected to break all previous ratings records last night.

Katleho Molai, 24, a contestant, said: "I don't feel like people should be using this to make money off her death." But she had not opposed the broadcast because she "wanted people to see the real Reeva".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?