News24

Remains of SA 3 identified in Libya

2010-05-16 23:42

Pretoria - The remains of three of the South Africans who died last week in the plane crash in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, have been identified.

Dayanand Naidoo, head of consular services at the department of international relations and co-operation, confirmed on Sunday that three of the South African victims of the Airbus A330-200 which crashed last Wednesday have been identified.

He was unable to provide any details regarding their identities.

He did say the families of these three victims are currently in Tripoli.

According to Naidoo it's still unclear when the remains will be repatriated to South Africa.

Blood samples

Meanwhile, DNA samples, dental records and fingerprints belonging to the rest of the 11 South African victims are being collected and will be sent to Tripoli this week.

Arrangements have already been made to obtain blood samples from Robert Weber's two daughters, 9-year-old Robyn, and 7-year-old Ashley, and also from Frans Dreyer's daughter, 21-year old Lize-MariƩ, for possible DNA identification of the remains.

Juan Wolmarans, operations manager at Global Aviation in Tripoli, who had been waiting for his colleague, Cathrine Tillett, said on Sunday that family members and friends of the victims went to crash scene on Saturday to lay wreaths and flowers.

"The visit to the scene gave the families a better idea of where the accident actually took place, and where the airport is," said Wolmarans.

On Sunday Coenie Kukkuk, spokesperson for the Weber family, said Weber's godfather, Frank Johnson, has gone to Libya to identify his body.

Bodies badly mutilated

According to Kukkuk, many of the victims were so badly mutilated "that there's basically nothing left".

Estelle Dreyer said her husband's colleague, Marius Ackerman, is in Tripoli to identify her husband as well as another colleague, Anton Matthee.

"We were asked to give descriptions of distinctive marks on their bodies, scars, and specific bodily traits," Dreyer said.

"We were told if four marks are identified on a body, that body is considered positively identified. If identification is by means of forensic analysis, it could take from three weeks to six months.

"A wave of sadness washes over me when I see that plane. The trauma and the pain is ripping me apart, but the tears will eventually dry and we will go on again," said Dreyer.