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
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

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy