14 Feb 2013

Pistorius shooting: Reeva Steenkamp’s tragic death

Less than a day before her death, she tweeted “It’s a beautiful day!” We look at the life of Reeva Steenkamp – model, TV star and partner to one of the world’s best-known sportsmen.

Less than a day before her death, she tweeted

On her Twitter account, Reeva Steenkamp described herself as “SA Model, Cover Girl, Tropika Island of Treasure Celeb Contestant, Law Graduate, Child of God.”

At 8.04am on 13 February, the 29-year-old tweeted: “It’s a beautiful day! Make things happen. Starting my day off with a yummy health shake from my boo :)”

Later, with Valentine’s day in prospect, she asked her Twitter followers: “What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow???”

Less than 24 hours later, police in Pretoria, South Africa, were called following a shooting at around 4.00am local time at a townhouse complex in city’s the Silver Lakes district.

Steenkamp, 29-year-old girlfriend of Paralympian “blade runner” Oscar Pistorius, had suffered gunshot wounds to her head and upper body. She died at the scene before paramedics could transport her to hospital.

‘Wonderful girl’

Tributes from those who knew Reeva Steenkamp are unanimous about one thing: what a nice person she was.

Jane Celliers, from ICE Model Management, Steenkamp’s modelling agency, said: “We are absolutely devastated. She was a wonderful, caring, amazing girl.”

Sarit Tomlinson, from Steenkamp’s management agency Capacity Relations, said in a statement: “She was the kindest, sweetest human being; an angel on earth and will be sorely missed.”

But she was more than that. Ms Tomlinson told ITN: “She was a go-getter. She was enterprising. She was entrepreneurial. And she wanted to succeed in everything that she put her heart and mind to. She was an incredible human being.”

Less than a day before her death, she tweeted

‘Beauty with brains’

Reeva Steenkamp had already established herself as a model when she was seen with Oscar Pistorius last year at the South African Sports Awards. The couple protested that they were just friends, but Steenkamp’s Twitter announcements in recent months make it clear the two had become an item.

Born in Cape Town, Reeva Steenkamp’s family moved to Port Elizabeth when she was a child. She graduated with a law degree from Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Sarit Tomlinson calls her a “beauty with incredible brains”.

She based herself in Johannesburg after securing a deal to become the first “face” of Avon South Africa, and her modelling career included work as an ambassador for Nimue skin products.

Steenkamp had appeared on the cover of men’s magazine FHM, and was selected for the past two years as one of FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World.

She was one of the celebrity contestants in the reality tv show Tropika Island of Treasure, and was due to star in the latest series this weekend. A message on the programme’s website today read: “We are deeply saddened and extend our condolences to Reeva’s family and friends”.