TAFELBERG publishers says a “top‐level police investigation into allegations of a paedophile ring involving senior members of the National Party government”, is underway.
The allegations were made in the book The Lost Boys of Bird Island by former policeman Mark Minnie and journalist Chris Steyn.
In a press statement the publishers said several people with knowledge of the alleged paedophile ring had given “valuable information to the police”.
“A number of victims have come forward and have given written statements of alleged sexual abuse related to the allegations in the book.”
Tafelberg says it approached the police in September with information that had come up after the book was published, and this led to an investigation by Brigadier Sonja Harri, Western Cape head of the Family Violence Unit.
In an apparent suicide, Minnie died of a gunshot wound a week after the book was published. Tafelberg said since then Steyn had faced “repeated attempts at intimidation”.
“Despite this, Steyn has continued investigating and following up on leads. She has co‐operated fully with the police probe from the start.”
Tafelberg said news of the police investigation had been suppressed to give investigators space to do their work.
“Both the publisher and author are grateful to the police for being prepared to devote scarce resources to a cold case of over 30 years.”
Tafelberg said the Foundation for Human Rights was also looking at the case. “To this end the foundation briefed a forensic expert to examine Minnie’s body in order to determine the circumstances around his death. The finding of the forensic expert was inconclusive.
“The initial report of the investigator … has been handed to the police’s Child Protection Unit.”
The book was written and published in the hope of a proper investigation, and this was now finally happening.
“This means that people who are still fearful for their own safety and that of their families can now come forward without fear that their identities will be revealed.”
Anyone with information on the The Lost Boys of Bird Island can e‐mail firstname.lastname@example.org – Vivien Horler