Stop defending Malan. Start defending his victims

Why are so many more concerned about the discredited general's reputation than about his innumerable victims?

10 August 2018 - 12:13 By Jo-Ann Floris
General Magnus Malan with Pik Botha.
General Magnus Malan with Pik Botha.
Image: Sunday Times

Since last weekend, the name Magnus André de Merindol Malan has filled me with an unease, cold chills. The name of the man who was one of the most feared and influential beings – yes, I have difficulty calling him a human being – as the minister of Defence in the cabinet of die Groot Krokodil, president P. W. Botha, Chief of the South African Defence Force and Chief of the South African Army.

If information contained in the bookThe Lost Boys of Bird Islandis correct, Malan and two former National Party ministers, together with an influential businessman from Port Elizabeth, were running a de facto paedophile ring. All on government time, all with state resources. Lekker, né.

Malan is accused of ghastly deeds, sexual abuse of young boys who never stood a chance. The thing that counted most against them, was that they were coloured in a time when people of colour had no voice. They never stood a chance.

Just as no one would have heard their cries on the now notorious Bird Island off the coast of Port Elizabeth, no one would believe their cries against the all-powerful white masters of the land at the time.

Compounding my hurt and disgust is the reaction to the news since Sunday, when an Afrikaans Sunday newspaper ran an extract from the book by former policeman Mark Minnie and ex-journalist Chris Steyn. If I did not have a full grasp of secondary victimisation before, I sure as hell have now.

Read the full story on Times Select.