Reeva Steenkamp's father Barry. File photo: Rogan Ward


Pretoria - For the first time since the start of murder-accused Oscar Pistorius's trial Reeva Steenkamp's father Barry attended the proceedings at the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Dressed in a blue shirt, the white-haired and bearded Barry Steenkamp sat next to his wife June, engaging in conversation with friends of the family.

Barry Steenkamp missed the start of the case after he fell ill shortly before the trial began in March.

Pistorius's father Henke was also in attendance for final arguments in his son's murder trial.

He sat on the left-hand side of the court which was mostly occupied by the Pistorius family.

Pistorius is charged with murdering the Steenkamps' model and law-graduate daughter Reeva, who was his girlfriend.

He shot her dead through the locked door of his toilet at his Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

Pistorius has denied guilt, saying he thought she was an intruder about to open the door and attack him. The State contends he shot her during an argument.

Closing arguments in the trial were expected to be made before Judge Thokozile Masipa on Thursday and Friday.

Outside the court, a strong media contingent armed with cameras lined the pathway leading to the court gates, awaiting Pistorius.

Inside court, local and international media began filling the benches of the gallery as they prepared their equipment ahead of proceedings.

Also attending court on Thursday were Reeva Steenkamp's friends Gina and Kim Meyers and their mother Desi.

A handful of women from the ANC Women's League were also present in court.

They flocked to the Steenkamp family and friends, embracing and talking to them.

The proceedings started at 9.30am. - Sapa