News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
3 minute read
6 Oct 2017
5:25 pm

Oscar movie producers’ statement does not go far enough – Steenkamps

Ilse de Lange

Reeva's parents say the producers should state that the Steenkamps had no knowledge of the film, were not informed, advised, approached or consulted by Lifetime to participate.

Barry and June Steenkamp, parents of Reeva Steenkamp, attend sentencing proceedings of paralympian Oscar Pistorius at the high court in Pretoria, Wednesday, 15 October 2014. Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide for the killing of Steenkamp. Picture:Antoine de Ras/Independent Newspapers/ Pool

Reeva Steenkamp’s parents feel a statement by A+E Networks Africa that they “had not seen or endorsed” the upcoming Lifetime movie titled “Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner Killer” does not go far enough.

June and Barry Steenkamp issued a statement through their attorney Tania Koen in which they said they were still distressed by the film and the claim made in Deadline Hollywood that “the movie is told from Steenkamp and her mother’s perspective”.

The couple reiterated their request that A+E’s CEO Nancy Dubuc should unequivocally state that the Steenkamps had no knowledge of the film, were not informed, advised or approached or consulted by Lifetime to participate, comment, or be part of the making of the film; gave no assistance to the producers, and that the film was accordingly not made from the perspective of June or their beloved Reeva.

“June and Barry Steenkamp wish to express their gratitude for the kind thoughts and support from many supporters worldwide who understand the pain they continue to suffer,” Koen said.

A+E Networks Africa earlier this week issued a statement in which they conceded that neither Pistorius nor Reeva Steenkamp’s families have seen or endorsed the film.

Reeva’s parents and Oscar’s brother Carl have both issued statements in which they distanced themselves from the movie and Carl Pistorius threatened legal action to stop the release of the film, which he said was a gross misrepresentation of the truth.

Carl Pistorius said in a statement the “film” was not a true reflection of what happened on the day of the tragedy on Valentine’s Day of 2013 when his brother shot and killed Reeva behind a locked toilet door.

Oscar maintained throughout the trial that Reeva’s death had been an accident and that he thought she was an intruder. He was initially convicted of culpable homicide, but the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) later found him guilty of murder.

He is presently serving a 6-year prison term on the murder charge. The State’s appeal against the sentence, which it described as “shockingly inappropriate”, is due to be heard in the SCA on 3 November.

Oscar’s brother said in a radio interview with Cape Talk that even the title of the movie was a gross distortion as his brother had been subjected to in-depth psychological tests for a month and it was never found that he had the mind of a killer.

He was of the view that the movie, based on the trailer he saw, was defamatory of both Reeva and Oscar and said his family was seeking legal advice.

A+E Networks Africa, which includes  Lifetime Africa in its channel portfolio, said in a statement they had noted the families’ statements in the media, but had not yet received any correspondence from either of the families.

They said the film “was based on a true story and public records” and they anticipated that it would elicit mixed reactions in South Africa due to the sensitive nature of the high profile court case, much of which was televised.

According to A+E, the Norman Stone-directed movie would be released in the US on 11 November, but a broadcast date for South Africa was still to be determined.