Both Reeva's parents in court

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 North Gauteng High Court.

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 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 14 February 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.

Court proceedings have commenced.