Bird Island author shot himself

The late Mark Minnie, author of ‘The Lost Boys of Bird Island’
The late Mark Minnie, author of ‘The Lost Boys of Bird Island’

The preliminary investigation into the death of co-author of controversial book The Lost Boys of Bird Island, Mark Minnie, shows his death was a suicide.

Minnie‚ 58‚ was found dead on August 13 with a gunshot wound to the head on a friend’s smallholding in Theescombe, Port Elizabeth.

The gun found lying next to Minnie’s body was owned by his friend and former colleague, Brent Barnes.

Minnie and journalist, Chris Steyn, wrote The Lost Boys of Bird Island, a book that implicated high-ranking National Party cabinet ministers and a businessman in the abuse of young boys during the 1980s.

Forensic results confirmed that gunshot residue was found on Minnie’s hands and clothing, as well as on the firearm.

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the forensic results confirmed suicide.

A police handwriting expert also submitted a report that confirmed the suicide note was written by Minnie.

“Chrissy‚ don’t give up now‚” Minnie wrote to Steyn in what he called his “last piece of writing”.

Asked if the owner of the firearm, Barnes - who Minnie was staying with – had been criminally charged, Naidu said the investigation was ongoing with the docket sent to the senior state prosecutor for a decision to be made.

At the time, police opened a case of negligence relating to the safekeeping of a firearm against Barnes.

The firearm was believed to be locked away in a safe but removed by Minnie.

The book alleged that members of former president PW Botha’s cabinet‚ including former defence minister Magnus Malan and former environmental affairs minister John Wiley‚ were involved in child sex orgies‚ along with former police reservist and businessman Dave Allen.

Earlier this month, police confirmed that they were investigating the alleged paedophile ring linked to the politicians.

“Out of respect for the process as well as the subjects of this probe‚ details at this stage cannot be divulged,” Brigadier Novela Potelwa said at the time.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.