London- Reeva Steenkamp was warned of Oscar Pistorius’s violent streak by a former boyfriend, rugby player Francois Hougaard.

Friends have revealed how the pair remained close after breaking up last summer and how Hougaard had “a serious talk” with her when he heard she was seeing Pistorius.

Hougaard was apparently aware of the Olympian’s reputation in sporting circles as a jealous, possessive man who could turn violent.

For his part, Pistorius is said to have been jealous of his girlfriend’s relationship with the rugby player, whose Valentine’s Day message to Reeva may have sparked the heated row which led to her death.

Hougaard and Reeva kept in regular touch after splitting up, and also shared an agent. The rugby player attended her funeral.

Just hours after her death he retweeted a picture of himself with her and two other friends, with the message: “Happier times with special people. We all miss you so much Reevs.”

His agent Lorinda Voges said Hougaard would not comment further, and “the sad ordeal is nothing to do with him”. But rumours were fuelled after Nelson Mandela’s assistant Zelda la Grange tweeted a rugby player was “alleged to be involved somehow”.

Mail on Sunday