A spokesperson for Tafelberg publishers says The Lost Boys of Bird Island co-author Mark Minnie’s death was “sudden and unexpected”, and there was no indication that he would take his own life.
On Tuesday, it was confirmed by police spokesperson Captain Johan Rheeder that a suicide note was found at the scene of the author’s death.
According to the publishers, they were in contact with Minnie on Sunday night, after which attempts at emailing and phoning him were unsuccessful. They added that Minnie was “enthusiastic” when they last spoke to him and mentioned new leads that led to fresh evidence regarding an alleged apartheid paedophile ring.
While it was initially reported that no foul play was suspected in the death of The Lost Boys of Bird Island co-author Mark Minnie, News24 has reported that Minnie and co-author Chris Steyn had received threats after the book’s publication and had been “living in fear”.
Rheeder later also told the website the firearm with which Minnie allegedly took his own life had not been his.
The two authors reportedly refused to have a traditional book launch and feared for their safety to the point of not wanting to appear in public. Minnie reportedly met a source on Friday, and was meant to meet another one on Monday.
While Steyn confirmed Minnie’s death, she was apparently too traumatised to say anything about what may have caused it. Minnie and Steyn had allegedly been investigating several leads subsequent to the book’s publication, but were afraid to publish what they had discovered.
Considering the police’s assertion that “no foul play is suspected” in Minnie’s death, there are many questions surrounding its circumstances.
He was found by a friend who owns the smallholding where he was last seen alive, in the bushes near the house. He had a gunshot wound to his head. The firearm was next to the body.
According to Captain Johan Rheeder, Minnie arrived at the smallholding at about 9am on Monday.
“His friend left him to rest, and he went out with his workers. At about 9pm, the friend received a call from the deceased’s female friend enquiring about his whereabouts,” he said.
When the friend returned to the smallholding, he discovered Minnie’s body outside.
Minnie and Steyn’s book, The Lost Boys of Bird Island, exposes an alleged paedophile ring, implicating two powerful apartheid officials and a businessman.
Since its release, some of Malan’s former colleagues as well as a former newspaper editor have rejected the book’s claims of the apartheid politicians’ involvement in the sexual abuse.
The book tells of “fishing excursions” organised by former minister Magnus Malan, wealthy businessman and police reservist Dave Allen – who died in an apparent suicide at the age of 37 – and National Party environmental affairs minister John Wiley – who also died at 80 by alleged suicide weeks after Allen was found dead with similar gunshot wounds to the head.
On these “fishing excursions” by apartheid government officials, the men were always accompanied by young boys, and a book coming out today reveals why: the boys were given food and booze just before they would be abused in sex orgies.
The boys were flown out on helicopters belonging to the then SA Defence Force (SADF), and the connection becomes clear once one understands that one of the men implicated in this elite ring of paedophiles was the minister of defence, a man who was at the time one of the powerful men in the country, possibly second only to then president PW Botha.
According to the book, the boys were mostly coloured and the rest white, and they were in their early teens. In one gruesome incident, a coloured boy was critically injured when Malan, according to sources, stuck a pistol up the boy’s anus and fired a shot. The child was secretly taken to the white side of a government hospital, guarded by men in suits. Family members and hospital staff were paid to keep quiet.