Cops guarded on Bird Island abuse case
Police say alleged abuse of boys on Bird Island is “receiving attention”
The alleged abuse of boys on Bird Island in the 1980s is “receiving attention” from police, national police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo said.
However, he would not say whether or not the case had been reopened.
In a carefully worded statement on Wednesday, Naidoo said: “The matter is receiving attention but details thereof cannot be provided at this very early stage given the sensitivity of this matter.”
Naidoo was responding to questions from The Herald on whether or not the case – detailed in the book, The Lost Boys of Bird Island, co-authored by former policeman Mark Minnie who was found dead in an apparent suicide on Monday night – was being reopened and whether police had been planning to meet Minnie.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson advocate Luvuyo Mfaku referred all questions to the police as the custodians of criminal dockets.
The book claimed that three former National Party ministers, including Magnus Malan and one who is still alive, had been central figures in a paedophile ring operated at Bird Island in Port Elizabeth during apartheid.
It was authored by former Port Elizabeth policeman Mark Minnie and journalist Chris Steyn.
They allege that Malan, who was called “Ore” (Afrikaans for ears), commandeered air force helicopters to use the island for the purpose of abusing boys, sometimes for days.
They also place Malan in a bathtub in a flat in the city where a young boy was sexually assaulted.
In the book, Minnie and Steyn claim that initial investigations into the alleged paedophile ring were halted by the police.
Minnie, 58, was found dead on Monday night at a friend’s Theescombe farm on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth with a gunshot wound to his head.
His death came just over a week after the book was published.