Editorial

Police must uncover the full truth about Mark Minnie

19 August 2018 - 00:00 By SUNDAY TIMES

The death this week of former police officer Mark Minnie has thrown South Africa in to a frenzy of speculation.
The timing of what police are calling his suicide could not have been more suspicious. It came just a week after he and co-author Chris Steyn released their shocking book, The Lost Boys of Bird Island, which outlined a sordid ring of paedophiles who preyed on boys in the Port Elizabeth area in the 1980s.
Apartheid-era defence minister Magnus Malan, who died in 2011, was said to be involved, along with another minister, John Wiley, and wealthy Port Elizabeth businessmen Dave Allen, who both committed suicide in 1987.
But adding a large dose of horsepower to the rumour mill is the book's claim that a second, unnamed, former apartheid cabinet minister - who is still alive today - was also involved. Barend du Plessis, who was finance minister in PW Botha's cabinet, released a statement saying the book clearly insinuated he was that minister, and threatened action against the authors.Given these extraordinary circumstances, it is understandable that Minnie's death on Monday night would raise eyebrows. Some members of Minnie's family say they do not believe he killed himself, and that he had warned them there was a plot to "take me out".
Given the scale of the allegations contained in the book and Minnie's untimely death, it is important that the police are seen to be doing everything in their power to get to the truth of the matter. Instead, they have maintained a stoic silence, confirming only that the claims of abuse detailed in the book were "receiving attention".
Add to this claims by Minnie's family that they have not been told what was in his suicide note, and his son Marcus allegedly being turned away from the mortuary when he went to see his father's body, and you have the ingredients for a solid conspiracy theory. There are more questions than answers. We hope - for the sake of the abuse victims who have never seen justice - that the police are giving the case the attention and resources it deserves, and that the truth about what transpired in Port Elizabeth all those years ago, and what happened on Monday night, will be fully revealed.

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