Reports: SA man on board MH17
SA helicopter pilot Cameron Dalziel was reportedly on board flight MH17.
JOHANNESBURG - While there's been no official confirmation from government that any South Africans were on board the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane that went down in Eastern Ukraine, reports claim a South African helicopter pilot was killed in the tragedy.
Shane Hattingh says his brother-in -law Cameron Dalziel was on the plane.
"My mother happened to be watching the news last night and happened to see the Malaysian Boeing went down. She knew where my brother-in-law had come from and it turned out he was on that plane. She phoned my sister in Malaysia to tell her that his plane had gone down."
He says Dalziel's family had just moved to Malaysia.
"He has been flying choppers all over the world and been away from his family for about 10 years and they finally just all moved to Malaysia to be together and run an operation out there."
Hattingh says his sister, Reine Dalziel, is so traumatised that she hasn't even been able to take their calls.
She received a notification that confirmed her husband boarded flight.
Hattingh says he's worried about his sister because she and her two young children have no relatives in Malaysia.
"She is basically alone there other than with new friends. So she couldn't even talk to me. Apparently three people from the company were there with her. It's crazy, the kids are going to be absolutely shattered."
The International Relations Department's Nelson Kgwete says government has ordered its mission in Kuala Lumpur to investigate.
"The department cannot confirm that there were any South African citizens on board the Malaysia plane. We have requested they confirm with the airlines passenger list. We have not confirmed anything yet."
Malaysia Airlines confirmed 298 people were on board the Boeing 777 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
The Ukrainian interior ministry says the plane was brought down by a BUK M1 surface-to-air-missile on Thursday evening.
The victims include 154 Dutch citizens, 45 Malaysians, 27 Australians and 12 Indonesians.
Reports also claim close to 100 passengers were en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne.
- AIDS 2014 (@AIDS_conference) July 18, 2014
There's been international reaction and condemnation to the crash amid claims that flight MH17 was brought down by a ground-to-air missile on the border of Ukraine and Russia.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says if it's proven the plane was shot down, those responsible must be brought to book.
Ukraine says it was a terror attack but the country has been warned not to rush into making unproven claims.
Razak says an urgent investigation is underway.
"The Ukrainian authorities believe that the plane was shot down. At this stage however, Malaysia is unable to verify the cause of this tragedy. But, we must - and we will - find out precisely what happened to this flight. No stone will be left unturned."