'Her name was Reeva Steenkamp': BBC Oscar Pistorius documentary slammed after trailer fails to name murdered girlfriend

Lizzie Edmonds
·3-min read

A trailer for a new documentary about the life of Oscar Pistorius has been condemned after it failed to name his murdered girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The BBC today announced that it would broadcast the Trials Of Oscar Pistorius, a new four part series about the incarcerated Paralympian, dubbed the Blade Runner.

Pistorius was originally convicted culpable homicide and sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison after shooting South African model Steenkamp dead on Valentine’s Day 2013. She was 29.

He was later found guilty of murder and jailed for 15 years.

Pistorius claimed he mistook his partner for an intruder during the night and to this day, the gold medal-winning Paralympian claims her death was an accident.

On Tuesday, a trailer for the documentary, which will feature on iPlayer from November 7, was met with criticism as, although Ms Steenkam is shown and referred to as Pistorius’s girlfriend, she is not named.

Many began posting on Twitter under the hashtag #HerNameWasReevaSteenkamp.

Columnist and campaigner Owen Jones wrote: “What on earth is this? It centres the fall of a killer as the real tragedy, and doesn’t even mention the name of the woman he murdered. Her name was Reeva Steenkamp.”

Jess Phillips MP added: “Her name was Reeva Steenkamp.”

Sarah Phelps wrote: “The framing of this is heinous and is justifiably going down like a cup of cold sick. Do better.”

Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith wrote: “Reeva Steenkamp was her name. I wonder what her life was like? What she achieved before she was murdered? Why @BBC decided to include the quote “he was a really nice guy” in this trailer, about her murder-er?”

Jean Hatchet added: “Seriously. This is an insult to murdered women and their families across the globe. This should not be aired at all. Show some respect. He had his murder trial for his lies. She doesn’t get a right to reply because he murdered her. #HerNameWasReevaSteenkamp.”

According to the BBC, the documentary goes back through the Paralympic star’s life, chronicling his ascent from a young boy who had both his legs amputated as a toddler to sporting hero at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.

It chronicles his bid to compete against non-disabled athletes at major competitions, until he finally ran at the London Olympics in 2012.

Numerous individuals who were close to the Pistorius and Steenkamp families and the various trials feature in the documentary.

Director Daniel Gordon said: “The story of Oscar Pistorius is remarkable in its complexity. It’s at once inspirational and harrowing, and provides a lens of insight into a breadth of issues - from gender-based violence to disability rights, racial inequality and media frenzy. My hope is that the film gives audiences additional context and layers to a story they think they know.”

The Trials Of Oscar Pistorius comes to BBC iPlayer on Saturday 7 November.

The BBC has been approached for comment.