Mark Minnie anti-suicide, says Lost Boys co-author Chris Steyn

Chris Steyn, co-author of 'Lost Boys of Bird Island' at the Open Book Festival in Cape Town on Sunday morning.
Chris Steyn, co-author of 'Lost Boys of Bird Island' at the Open Book Festival in Cape Town on Sunday morning.
Image: Anthony Molyneux

“I accepted very quickly that he had pulled the trigger himself.

“He did shoot himself, but Mark was anti-suicide.”

This was said by Chris Steyn, co-author of The Lost Boys of Bird Island, on Sunday, while revealing her thoughts on the controversial book which alleges top apartheid ministers molested young boys on Bird Island, off the coast of Port Elizabeth.

Steyn‚ co-author of the book with former policeman Mark Minnie who was found dead last month‚ was part of a panel discussion hosted by writer Marianne Thamm, with Steyn and Netwerk24 journalist Maygene de Wee, at the Open Book Festival in Cape Town.

Minnie allegedly shot himself dead at a friend’s farm in Port Elizabeth in August.

But Steyn believes there was more to his death than meets the eye.

Steyn said: “Many years ago when his ex-partner attempted to kill herself‚ Mark was so upset with her because of how it would have affected the children, so I think there was something that made him do it.

“He may have received an ultimatum – it could have been a threat against his daughters, because he was terrified of losing them.

“But Mark was worried that there were a lot of high-profile people after him.

“Mark was fearing for his life and his children’s lives.”

De Wee was the last journalist to interview Minnie.

“I went to the Eastern Cape to meet him and we met in a McDonald’s parking lot – it was three days before he died,” she said.

“Mark was anxious‚ but more paranoid than anxious.

“He spoke a lot about his daughters and he didn’t want people to know he was in SA.

“He was worried for his daughters,” De Wee said.

“But he was a man who looked forward to the day. He was happy to be alive. There must be more to his death.”

Steyn said: “We knew so little when we wrote the book.

“Information is coming in daily which corroborates what we wrote.

“The book is the tip of the iceberg. People are not worried about what’s in [it], they’re worried about what’s coming.

“I believe the investigation into Mark’s death has been done professionally and whatever the findings are won’t be in dispute,” Steyn said.

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