SA widow gets little help from Malaysian authorities

2014-07-20 10:18
(JoePriesAviation.net, AP)

(JoePriesAviation.net, AP)

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Johannesburg - Malaysian Airline authorities failed to co-operate with the family and widow of Cameron Dalziel, the Durban born helicopter pilot who was onboard the ill-fated flight MH17 when it was shot down over the Ukraine on Thursday.

According to the Sunday Independent, the Malaysian authorities had still not made contact with Dalziel’s wife, Reine, two days after the crash. This despite his sister, Candice, having provided Reine’s details to airline officials no fewer than three times.

When the Sunday Independent contacted officials, an airline spokesperson said: “He is not the only person who died. It is taking time to verify details of the passengers.”

In addition to this, the airline has refused to confirm to Dalziel’s Umhlanga Rocks based parents, Meryil and Doug, that their son’s name was on the flight manifest.

Dalziel was travelling on a British passport but was raised in Durban. He had recently moved to Malaysia with his wife and two sons and was returning home from the Netherlands after a work-related trip.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Sunday said the Ukraine crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was "absolutely chaotic", and he feared interference with the evidence would continue.

Abbott's call joined a growing chorus of outrage from world leaders demanding Russia's full co-operation with what is becoming a monumentally challenging probe into the shooting down of MH17, bound from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people from a dozen countries on board.

Twenty-eight Australian nationals were on the flight. Abbott said recovering the bodies was a priority.

Abbott said several attempts to reach the wreckage, which is strewn across a large area, were hampered by the conflict.

Australia is pushing for a full and impartial investigation into the crash, but Abbott said a key difficulty was that there was "no-one in authority in charge on the ground".

‘Unacceptable’

The United States has meanwhile condemned "unacceptable" security at the site.

"The site is not secure, and there are multiple reports of bodies being removed, parts of the plane and other debris being hauled away, and potential evidence tampered with," state department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement on Saturday.

"This is unacceptable and an affront to all those who lost loved ones and to the dignity the victims deserve."

The state department has said monitors from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe were only allowed 75 minutes at the site on Friday, and less than three hours on Saturday.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said late on Saturday it was "understood" that insurgents "have agreed to create a safe passage for the recovery and investigation team".

"We hope they will do so as this is a serious event and they must all demonstrate compassion for the countries affected and the innocent victims," he said in a Facebook post after meeting relatives of some of the 44 Malaysian passengers on board the doomed flight.

"We will do our best to bring back the victims of the tragedy," he said.

‘Deeply unsatisfactory’

Abbott, who on Friday branded the disaster a "crime" and slammed Russia's initial response as "deeply unsatisfactory", refused to say whether he had tried to contact Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The Russians, as everyone has seen over the last 48 hours, are trying to wash their hands of this," he said.

"But it is impossible for Russia to wash its hands of something which happened in what is effectively Russian-controlled territory, it seems at the hands of Russian-backed individuals, most likely with a Russian supplied or facilitated weapon."

Abbott said the tragedy touched the nation deeply given that 36 onboard called Australia home. Services were to be held on Sunday for those who died.

"We can't let our emotions cloud our judgment but nevertheless these are wrenching times and there would hardly be an Australian who hasn't been emotionally touched by what we've seen, what we've felt over the last 48 hours or so," Abbott said.

"You look at the faces of the dead and they're your neighbours, they're your friends, they could be your kids... There are 36 people who call Australia home who have been snuffed out."

Read more on:    malaysia airlines  |  tony abbott  |  najib razak  |  durban  |  mh17
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