Agonising time for Dalziel family


Durban -

The last week has been a rollercoaster for the two young sons of a Durban man who died in the Malaysian plane crash last week after it was shot down over the Ukraine along with 297 other passengers and crew.

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Dutch investigators examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rassipne, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine. Picture: Dmitry LovetskyFile Cameron Dalziel, who was killed in the MH17 flight that was blown up over Ukraine, seen here with his wife Reine and one of his sons, name not known

Cameron Dalziel’s sons would have been preparing for their holiday, but they were now faced with the “sad and overwhelming” reality of preparing for their father’s funeral.

“The last week has been very tough for the boys and their mother, Reine,” said Cameron’s brother, Campbell Dalziel.

“It has been a rollercoaster for the boys who recently moved to Malaysia,” said Campbell on Friday, speaking from Umhlanga.

Cameron, 43, was originally from uMhlanga Rocks and had worked as a Netcare 911 emergency services helicopter pilot but worked around the world before settling in Malaysia in December.

His wife, Reine, and two sons, 14-year-old Sheldon and four-year-old Cruz, will be coming to South Africa soon.

They were just getting accustomed to Malaysia, and preparing for their holidays when tragedy struck.

A devastated Reine said Campbell was now trying to create a sense of normality for the teenage boys.

“She’s really trying to be strong for the boys, who were very close to their dad,” said Campbell who was busy making preparations for his brother’s memorial service.

The service will be held at Virginia Airport’s Starlight Aviation Hanger on Thursday at 10am.

“When my brother’s remains have been released, the family will gather at a church for a small service before heading for a paddle out,” said Campbell.

This is where Cameron’s ashes will be scattered.

“My brother loved the ocean, so it’s the obvious thing to do,” he said.

Meanwhile, the London Daily Mail reported yesterday that Reine was forced to cancel her husband’s credit cards to stop fraudulent use of them.

This was after looters targeted the crash site, stealing credit cards, phones and other valuables from the 298 people that died.

Campbell, who was in constant contact with his brother’s widow, said Reine was advised by Ukrainian authorities to cancel the cards as a precautionary measure to prevent them from being defrauded.

“Reine was advised to close the cards because of rumours that people were looting from the crash site. We haven’t seen any suspicious activities on my brother’s cards,” he said.

“The focus for us right now is to get my brother’s remains back so we can give him the send-off he deserved,” Campbell said

“There hasn’t been an indication yet as to when that will be… we are just playing the waiting game,” he said.

Campbell thanked everyone who had showered the family with condolence messages. “Strangers have come up to us, offering words of encouragement,” he said.

European leaders are preparing tougher sanctions on Russia over the shooting down of the aircraft. Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, long an advocate of harsher sanctions, said the plane crash was the “last straw that broke the camel’s back”.

“The behaviour of the separatists… the scandalous plundering of the luggage and the bodies themselves… all this made an enormous impression on the Netherlands and on all of us,” he told reporters.

Gruesome images of bodies strewn across fields after the downing of flight MH17 appear to have persuaded some of the opponents of sanctions to take a more decisive stand against Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

- Independent on Saturday

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