Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Reeva Steenkamp in good spirits just hours before shooting


Reeva Steenkamp, the model whose death at the home of Oscar Pistorius has dominated headlines around the world, gave a light-hearted interview hours before her death in which she talked about St Valentine’s Day and bad dating experiences.

As tributes came in for the murdered 29-year-old from Port Elizabeth, her posthumous words appeared on a local celebrity website. “I’ve realised that although Valentine’s Day can be a cheesy money-making stint to most people, it’s a day of expressing love across the world,” she told the Zalebs website. She also mentioned having to get a restraining order on a man she had dated once, but did not mention her relationship with Pistorius.

South Africans will have the chance to watch Steenkamp this weekend when she appears in a pre-recorded reality-television series, Tropika Island of Treasure, featuring celebrities and members of the public competing in various challenges against an exotic backdrop.

Producers confirmed it would be broadcast as planned and footage appeared today of her being interviewed in Jamaica to promote the series.

Meanwhile Conflicting accounts of the athlete’s attitude to the women in his life have emerged since the shooting. Trish Taylor, the mother of Pistorius’s ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor, wrote on Facebook: “I’m so glad Sammy is safe and out of the clutches of that man.”

Another of his former partners, Jenna Edkins, defended the accused man on Twitter: “I have dated Oscar on and off for 5 YEARS, NOT ONCE has he EVER lifted a finger to me or made me fear for my life.”