25 January 2005

Leave Dave Shaw in peace, beg couple

Australian deep diver captain Dave Shaw became a close friend of Andries and Debbie van Zyl through his expeditions on their farm, Mount Carmel, near here.

The Van Zyls were quoted in a joint statement they issued on their farm on Monday, signed by both parties, as saying: "The friendship between Debbie and Dave was described as something sinister in the media because certain comments by Andries were taken out of context.

"It upset Andries because of the serious influence it has had on our family life."

Shaw was the diver who went to retrieve the remains of 20-year-old Deon Dreyer of Vereeniging on January 8 this year from Boesmansgat Cave on Mount Carmel.

Dreyer drowned in Boesmansgat more than 10 years ago.

Things went awry, and Shaw died in the attempt.

The Van Zyls said in their statement: "Please allow Dave Shaw to rest in peace, and give his loved ones space and time to mourn and heal."

Want privacy in 'difficult time'
They said that for various reasons - none of them related to Shaw - they have been, and are still, reviewing their marriage of 19 years.

"We are deciding what the best would be for us as individuals and for the family. We ask that our privacy be respected in this difficult time."

The daughter of a spokesperson for the Shaw family (who lives in Hong Kong) answered the phone on Monday and said the media must stop meddling in other people's affairs.

Superintendent Hendrik Swart of the police said the result of the post-mortem could not be released at this stage. It would form part of an inquest, so it was sub judice until then.


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