Apartheid 'paedophile ring': New light shed on alleged island abuse
They partied and swam naked on Bird Island before allegedly engaging in sexual activities with boys – and were “arrogant” enough to sign their names in the visitors book.
Two former journalists spoke to HeraldLIVE about their own investigations into the 'depraved' trips former apartheid ministers allegedly made to the island off Port Elizabeth.
National Party defence minister Magnus Malan, environment minister John Wiley, an unnamed government minister who is still alive, and businessman Dave Allen, were allegedly central figures in a paedophile ring that operated during apartheid.
The explosive allegations are contained in The Lost Boys of Bird Island‚ a book by former policeman Mark Minnie and ex-journalist Chris Steyn‚ who also state that investigations into the ring were halted by police at the time.
Former photojournalist Colin Urquhart, of Port Elizabeth, said he investigated the paedophile ring claims while working for Weekend Post after he was tipped off by a contact who worked on the island.
His sources confirmed that Malan and Wiley were dropped off on the island in a military helicopter. Urquhart also photographed the visitors book.
“They were so arrogant they even signed the visitors book,” Urquhart said.
However, the story was canned by the editor at the time, who said they didn't have enough evidence to back up the claims.
Another journalist, Gavin Evans, claims he linked Malan to Wiley and Allen years ago.
In an interview with Malan in the 1990s, Evans asked him outright if he knew what had been going on at Bird Island. Malan said he did.
But not before asking Evans: “What are you accusing me of?”
Evans said Malan had been untouchable at the time.
Minnie, who said on Sunday that he had been told by his superiors to drop the investigation, has been bothered by the case for more than 30 years.
“It always bothered me that powerful men were able to hide this horrific [alleged] abuse of vulnerable children."
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