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July 23rd, 2014
06:13 PM ET

South African family of MH17 victim: Unlike pro-Russian rebels, the Dutch treated victims with respect, dignity

(CNN) – Cameron Dalziel was a father of two, a helicopter rescue pilot who had recently moved to Malaysia with his family.

He was on his way home after taking a training course when he was killed aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Watching the procession of coffins carrying many of the victims in the Netherlands today was "totally surreal," said Shane Hattingh, Cameron's brother-in-law.

"It was the weirdest feeling knowing that my brother-in-law could be in one of those - in one of those caskets," an emotional Hattingh said.

"I found myself wanting him to be there, and at the same time that's too selfish at this time," he said, adding that he hopes the children, the young victims of the crash, landed in the Netherlands first.

Hattingh said his sister, Cameron's wife, also watched the procession today and "was destroyed."

"I am so proud of the Dutch nation. To show an evolved kind of society that showed respect on a massive level like that, that I just want to applaud them," Hattingh said.

It was a stark contrast to the way pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine treated the bodies, which were left out in the hot sun for several days as international investigators tried to gain access to the crash site. There were also reports of looting.

"They have no respect for each other, look what they're doing. ... It's no surprise that they were treating the remains of people like that. It made me angry beyond words," Hattingh said.

Cameron was South African, and the consulate there is working with the British consulate to help identify his remains.

"The little we do know is that Cameron was in business class, and that particular part of the plane was found reasonably intact. So we can only hope that things will work out for us and that we can get Cameron home and start the grieving process," said Hattingh.

"My sister's son said to my mother that his whole body is sore from crying," said Hattingh.

Cameron's widow is keeping herself busy with unfortunate errands, like cancelling his credit cards, because, her brother says, "people are abusing it in the Ukraine."

"What's ahead is my sister getting her two sons into schools, and getting their lives moving so that she can actually have the time to grieve, because right now she doesn't," he says.

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