Mark Minnie, co-author of Magnus Malan exposé, found dead

Mark Minnie's book 'The Lost Boys of Bird Island' names three former National Party ministers, including Magnus Malan, as central figures in a paedophilia ring that operated during apartheid.

Mark Minnie, co-author of 'The Lost Boys of Bird Island' poses for a portrait during an interview few days before his death on 10 August 2018 in Port Elizabeth. Picture: Gallo Images/Netwerk24/Lulama Zenzile

JOHANNESBURG - One of the authors of a new book which named three former National Party ministers, including Magnus Malan, as central figures in a paedophilia ring that operated during apartheid, has been found dead.

News24 is reporting that an inquest docket has been opened after the body of Mark Minnie was found on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth.

Journalist Chris Steyn, who co-authored The Lost Boys of Bird Island with Minnie, confirmed his death

Minnie is a former cop who worked as a narcotics bureau detective during the 1980s.

Police have confirmed to Eyewitness News that a 58-year-old Port Elizabeth man was found dead at his friend’s farmhouse in Theescombe, Port Elizabeth, on Monday evening.

According to police information, the ex-policeman visited his friend at his farm at about 09:00.

"The friend left him to rest and he went out with his workers. At about 21:00, the friend received a call from the deceased’s female friend enquiring about his whereabouts. The friend then went home and went to the deceased’s room and noticed that he was not in the room. He looked for the deceased and found him outside lying near a bush with a gunshot wound to his head. A firearm was found lying next to him.

"At this stage no foul play is suspected. Police have opened an inquest pending the results of the post mortem. The deceased name cannot be released until next kin has been informed."

The Lost Boys of Bird Island details how investigations into Malan, former apartheid minister of defence, as well as John Wiley, minister of environmental affairs and another minister, who was considered a possible successor to then president PW Botha and who is still alive, were halted by the police and the investigating officer hounded from service in the 1980s.

The book reveals how the three were involved, along with disgraced Port Elizabeth businessman John Allen, in ferrying coloured minors to Bird Island in Algoa Bay near Port Elizabeth where the children were molested and forced to satisfy the older men’s sexual fantasies.

Malan died in 2011, while Wiley and Allen both officially committed suicide in 1987.

The third minister is believed to have had a holiday home in the Eastern Cape, was a senior member of Cabinet and considered a front-runner to take over the reins from Botha. His identity was withheld by the publishers based on legal advice.