In an extraordinary echo of events described in the book The Lost Boys of Bird Island co-author Mark Minnie was found dead on Monday.
Minnie & # 39; s death is apparently by suicide, but the book describes two alleged suicides in the course of a survey conducted by the former policeman in the late 1980s in pedophilia among high-ranking politicians – suicides that, in the analysis of the book A lot of murders seem to seem to look like suicides.
There were reports after his death that a suicide note had been found and that the gun taken from the scene at a small company on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth was not from Minnie. News24 reported that it belonged to his friend and former police colleague Brent Barnes.
READ MORE: & # 39; The Lost Boys & # 39; all of us
Family members said Minnie told them days before he died that if something happened to him they should know he was killed, according to a SABC news report.
Tersia Dodo, a relative of Minnie's, said: "He told us all the time that his life was in danger and if anything happened to him, we must know it was done to him, not by himself .
Mark was not a coward. Mark looked at life. "
The family also said that they believed that the suicide note had not been written by Minnie – or that he was writing it under compulsion." Before his death Minnie was approached by many people with more destructive evidence, which he wanted to reveal in a follow-up book.
Minnie's co-author, Chris Steyn, told News24 that in the weeks they had received threatening phone calls before his death.
Publishers Tafelberg said that Minnie followed new directions in the story of alleged abuse of boys at Bird Island that he and Steyn told in the book. "He was enthusiastic about the publication of the book and the disclosure of accusations, which he said had been hidden for 30 years," said a representative from Tafelberg. "He said the book & # 39; just the beginning & # 39; was. "
A judicial investigation will take place.
Minnie was the police officer who discovered evidence that Cabinet Ministers in the government of the national party were involved in the sexual abuse of boys.
The boys were sent to Bird Island brought, near Port Elizabeth, to spend time with government ministers who, according to information in the book, had flown to the island with a military helicopter.
The book tells how the case was finally closed by Intervention by High in the Government of PW Botha
Minnie had worked as a teacher in the Far East for the past 20 years, returning to South Africa for the launch of the book, and Steyn would have said that she had new evidence had that come forward.
While Minnie tells the story – which he believed he was unable to let go, despite the fact that he was the police – he had the the case of one of the youngsters who had been secretly hospitalized and treated after being shot in the anus on Bird Island. This led Minnie to one of the parties involved and two seeming suicides soon followed. The victims of the abuse were undetectable, and it would have been difficult for Minnie to make a case, even if the file had not been taken away from him by a senior police officer. He was removed from the case and later left the police.
The book ends with a call to victims to come forward, and one did. Network 24 reported: "He told the publication that he was kidnapped by a group of white men in Port Elizabeth at the age of 13 in 1987." He was "raped and forced to perform other sexual acts by former Secretary of Defense Magnus Malan and another" Uncle ".
The book implies other ministers of the cabinet. One was John Wiley, minister of environmental affairs. He was found dead, apparently by his own hand, in March 1987, weeks after the apparent suicide of Dave Allen. A conservationist, Allen had a guano concession on Bird Island and was close to Wiley. Minnie had confronted Allen and he would have known.
Malan, probably the second most powerful person in South Africa at the time, was known for his very militaristic reaction to any opposition to the apartheid regime. According to the book, Malan was confronted twice with the accusations of the Bird Island and he reacted differently on each occasion, whether he denied or rejected the claims.
READ MORE: Bird Island child abuse: the truth will set us free
A the third minister who would have been involved is not mentioned in the book: he still lives and can sue for defamation, the publishers say.
Barend du Plessis, who was the Minister of Finance, told Report on 12 August that the references to the third minister were clearly directed at him and he denied any involvement.
The story of the abused youngsters of Bird Island was examined at the time by various publications, but there was no definitive evidence and the victims could not be traced. The few articles that were published attracted the anger of prominent politicians from the National Party. Gavin Evans, a reporter on The Weekly Mail told how reporters on The Star was advised to get rid of the Wiley case, and the investigation of Martin Welz for Report were destroyed. "The entire cabinet came down to the editor, and the story was killed," said Evans.