The 30-year-old model had been planning a birthday surprise for her new boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius, a man she had described to local newspapers as "impeccable" and "thoughtful" in the gifts he bought her.
A close friend who visited the Silver Woods estate where she was found dead yesterday morning said that the former law student had been excitedly talking with girlfriends about a special surprise that she was planning.
Her relationship with the Olympics hero had further raised her profile in South Africa where she was already known for featuring on a men's magazine list of the 100 sexiest women.
Hagen Engler, a former editor of FHM magazine, said her sudden death had not "hit home" and called it a "tragedy".
Mr Engler, also from Port Elizabeth on the south-eastern coast, said he had known her for 15 years and that she was "driven and ambitious but not unpleasantly so and always fun to work with".
He echoed sentiments from other friends when he said that she was "stunningly beautiful" but there are "lots of beautiful girls and her personality set her apart from others. She was more mature in her outlook." Mr Engler said he believed she was on the cusp of big things in her career.
At the time of her death the blonde model had been promoting a celebrity reality television show she had appeared in alongside the rapper AKA, filmed late last year in Jamaica.