'Apartheid suicide unit under fresh investigation' over alleged pedophilic ring

The Lost Boys of Bird Island‚ a book by former policeman Mark Minnie and ex-journalist Chris Steyn.
The Lost Boys of Bird Island‚ a book by former policeman Mark Minnie and ex-journalist Chris Steyn.
Image: SUPPLIED

A “state-sanctioned” unit that might have been used to stage suicides during the apartheid era is under fresh investigation‚ journalist Marianne Thamm said on Tuesday.

Thamm’s disclosure‚ in an article for the Daily Maverick‚ followed the reported suicide of ex-policeman Mark Minnie‚ co-author of a book about an alleged paedophile ring involving apartheid defence minister Magnus Malan‚ three National Party cabinet ministers and a prominent businessman.

Thamm‚ who wrote the foreword to the book Minnie penned with investigative journalist Chris Steyn‚ said Minnie had feared for his life as a result of their investigation.

“During my meeting with him in Cape Town last year he informed me that he feared for his life and that the book would stir a hornets’ nest. He also said that those who had done the bidding of the former government were still around and had never been called to account‚” she said.

Minnie’s son‚ Markus Mordiac‚ wrote a chilling post about the book nine days ago‚ in a post on Facebook.

When dad finished this book he sent me a copy. I got through the first 2 chapters and then stopped, Tears and a heavy...

Posted by Markus Mordiac on Sunday, 5 August 2018

“When dad finished this book he sent me a copy. I got through the first 2 chapters and then stopped‚ tears and a heavy heart‚ knowing my father was about to dive into something that could kill him‚” he said.

“We have always had our different opinions and an opposite take on life. I never understood why he was so angry yet so protective of me whilst growing up.

“This story really changed my perspective. I’m glad you had the courage to finally bring this out of the dark. My prayers go out to all the victims‚ and I hope justice will one day be served to the wrong doers! Love you dad‚ keep your head held high! You deserve it!“

In reaction to the news of Minnie’s death on Tuesday‚ Anne Willer wrote on Chris Steyn’s Facebook page: “This is disgusting. I have known Mark for many many years and spoke to him just the other day when we arranged that he would be visiting us on the 23rd for a reunion of friend.

“NO WAYS would Mark have EVER committed suicide. Well at least now we know he was telling the truth. RIP Mark. You will be fondly remembered. Chris PLEASE take care.”

Thamm also reported that several more victims of the alleged paedophile ring‚ which is also said to have involved apartheid environment minister John Wiley and Port Elizabeth businessman Dave Allen‚ had come forward since the book was published this month.

The book claims that members of the ring would abduct or pay street children and fly them by helicopter to Bird Island‚ where they were abused.

“Mark Minnie‚ who lived in China where he was a teacher‚ was in South Africa conducting further investigations in Port Elizabeth – the city where the paedophile ring operated back in the 1980s‚” wrote Thamm.

Minnie‚ 58‚ was found on Monday evening at a friend’s house in Theescombe‚ Port Elizabeth. He had a gunshot wound to his head. Allen and Wiley also died of apparent suicides before they could be charged.

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