Dutch drug kingpin gets life in prison
Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is seen during the presentation of final arguments at his murder trial in Pretoria, Thursday, 7 August 2014. Picture: Mujahid Safodien/AFP/Pool
Pistorius arrived at the High Court in Pretoria and on his way to his defence team passed by the bench where Steenkamp’s parents June and Barry were seated with other relatives.
He mumbled a “good morning” which was met with silence.
A short while later, his uncle Arnold’s wife Lois headed to the Steenkamp family.
She gave Barry an embrace and he smiled back warmly.
This was the first time Barry was seen publicly interacting with the Pistorius family.
He made his debut in court on Thursday after missing previous proceedings due to ill-health.
Pistorius is charged with murdering Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year.
He shot her through the locked door of his toilet at his Pretoria home.
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 and it was premeditated.
Pistorius is also charged with three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act, one of illegal possession of ammunition and two of discharging a firearm in public. He has pleaded not guilty to these charges.
Also making a second appearance in court on Friday was Pistorius’s father, Henke.
Besides a handshake, the father and son hardly interacted on Thursday.
On Friday, however, Henke walked up to the dock shortly before proceedings started and gave his son a warm hug, patting him on the back and later holding his hand.
Meanwhile, support for Pistorius continued on the last lap of the trial. Stuck on the back of a bus stop bench outside the court on Friday was a bundle of green and yellow balloons.
“Oscar Pistorius, you will always be our hero,” was written on a poster next to them.
It was unclear who had placed the balloons and poster there.
When proceedings resume at 9.30am, Pistorius’s lawyer, Barry Roux SC, is expected to continue submitting his closing arguments in the case.
He will be explaining to the court why his client should be kept out of jail.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel wrapped up his closing arguments on Thursday.
He said Pistorius was an appalling witness who had tailored his evidence and told the court a series of untrue versions.
The case continues.
Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits