The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp began on Monday.
Pistorius took his seat wearing a dark grey suit and black tie without looking in Reeva’s mother June Steenkamp’s direction.
She was seated on the bench directly behind the Paralympian so there is a possibility that their eyes will lock during the trial.
The double amputee’s family, including his brother Carl and sister Aimee are also seated nearby.
Prosecutors charged the 27-year-old Pistorius with the premeditated murder of Miss Steenkamp.
They say they will seek a life sentence if Pistorius is convicted, the sternest punishment available in South Africa. South Africa no longer has the death penalty.
If convicted on the murder charge, Pistorius could be sent to prison for at least 25 years before the chance of parole, the minimum time someone must serve if given a life sentence in South Africa.
He would be older than 50 before he could be released.
The state says Pistorius intentionally killed Steenkamp at his home in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine’s Day last year by shooting her through a toilet door after an argument.
Pistorius denies murder and says he killed his girlfriend by mistake when he fired four times through the door thinking there was a dangerous nighttime intruder on the other side.