Beloved friend remembered

WHILE many people celebrate the most romantic day of the year today with that special someone in their lives, those close to the Valentine's Day tragedy of Reeva Steenkamp will remember their friend fondly.

"Reeva was a very private person and I am sure she would want everyone to celebrate Valentine's Day in a similar manner – quietly, privately, with their loved one," Belinda Zeelie, a friend of the family, said.

"Wherever she is now, I am sure she wouldn't want people to make a big fuss about her. She's probably just smiling down on friends and family having a great time together."

Zeelie believes that any big party or tribute to Reeva will probably be held at her parents' bar, the Barking Spider in Greenbushes.

Friend and fellow model Valene Sampson, a former Miss PE, said the day would be very emotional for her.

"We've been friends since the 2005 Miss PE pageant, and I remember specifically how excited she was for Valentine's Day last year. My beloved friend will only be treasured in my heart."

She agreed that Steenkamp would want everyone to keep the romance alive and not be sad on this special day, and even though she does not really celebrate Valentine's Day, she would be "celebrating it by putting a sparkle in other people's relationships by giving couples yoga".

At the same time Sampson's thoughts were with the Steenkamp family, who she knew were going through a tough time.

Barbara Robertson, former The Herald and Weekend Post fashion editor, who helped launch Steenkamp's career with various local beauty pageants, believes it is time for people to let the "lovely girl" find rest.

"Everyone who knew her should now remember her in their own way. It's been a year. It's time for Reeva and her family to be left in peace."