South Africa: Jacques Pauw Slams Authors of Book Alleging Apartheid Ministers' Involvement in Paedophilia Ring

The cover of the book The Lost Boys of Bird Island.
6 September 2018

Journalist and author Jacques Pauw has slammed Mark Minnie and Chris Steyn, authors of the controversial book, The Lost Boys of Bird Island , for sloppy police work and failing to disclose crucial information in the book.

In The Lost Boys of Bird Island, the authors allege that former apartheid defence minister Magnus Malan, along with two other ministers and a local businessman, sexually abused children on Bird Island, just off Port Elizabeth.

In an extensive review of the book, Pauw questions Minnie's conduct and ethics as a policeman investigating the case of the "lost boys", referring to several examples from the book that cast doubt about whether the allegations are indeed true.

He also questions why Steyn failed to disclose that she was married to a member of the "murderous squad of army assassins" that would have, according to her analysis, been involved in the alleged murder of minister John Wiley and businessman Dave Allen, who were both implicated in the paedophilia ring. Wiley and Allen officially committed suicide.

Minnie committed suicide last month. His body was found on a friend's smallholding in Theescombe, Port Elizabeth, on August 13, with a gunshot wound to the head and a firearm next to his body.

Pauw writes that, because Minnie did not follow police procedure, Allen was released after his arrest the night before he committed suicide.

"If Minnie had done his job, Allen might have been alive," writes Pauw.

"Allen would have appeared in court that morning, might have been detained while awaiting trial, and would have spilt the beans on the involvement of the cabinet ministers in his paedophile ring."

Pauw further rubbishes Minnie's claim that prosecutors had told him to shut down his investigation.

"A prosecutor can refuse to prosecute once the investigation has been completed and he has received the docket, but he cannot close a 'living' docket. Didn't Minnie know this? Or is he lying?"

'The lost boys deserved better'

Pauw also raises questions about whether the case docket had really been removed from where Minnie kept it at the police station, and where Minnie's notes, as well as the recordings of the interviews with the boys were. These would supposedly have been kept separately.

"A journalist friend that worked in Port Elizabeth in the '90s told me that around 1997, Minnie offered to sell the 'Bird Island docket' to him for around R20 000. He said he is prepared to make an affidavit in this regard.

"Why did Minnie wait 30 years before publishing his allegations? As a result, there will be no justice for the boys because the alleged paedophiles - with exception of the elderly Barend du Plessis - are dead."

Du Plessis, former minister of finance, identified himself as the third minister implicated in the book in an interview with Rapport. He denied all allegations and demanded that the authors provide the public with evidence of their claims.

"I can only speak for myself. I know without a doubt about this matter, I can stand before God and say, Lord, as a human I have many sins, but this sin of which they accuse me of I'm innocent," he said.

In the book, Steyn claims she met with the surgeon who treated the wounded child who Minnie claimed he saw in hospital. He is, according to her, retired and a wine farmer in the Western Cape.

"Why is she protecting his identity when he almost certainly made himself guilty of at least professional misconduct by failing to report serious sexual assault of a child to the authorities? He should be named and shamed.

"It is ultimately a tragedy that Minnie botched the Bird Island investigation. The lost boys deserved better but, as a result, there are virtually no detail of the events that took place," Pauw writes.


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