Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Rapport has apologised for publishing accusations of sexual assault made against National Party ministers in the controversial book, The Lost Boys of Bird Island by former policeman Mark Minnie and ex-journalist Chris Steyn.
According to the book, three former National Party ministers, including strongman Magnus Malan and John Wiley, have been named as central figures in a paedophilia ring that operated during apartheid.
Both former ministers are deceased.
A third former minister was not named in the book, but former finance minister Barend du Plessis publicly stated that he believed he was being implicated and strongly denied the allegations.
According to the book, the three were involved, along with disgraced Port Elizabeth businessman John Allen, in ferrying coloured minors to Bird Island in Algoa Bay near Port Elizabeth where the children were molested and forced to satisfy the older men’s sexual fantasies.
Since publication, investigations into the authenticity of the claims were reportedly conducted by private investigator, Wouter de Swardt, on behalf of the Human Rights Commission; Jacques Pauw, an investigative journalist at Vrye Weekblad and best-selling author; and Derek Watts of M-Net’s Carte Blanche.
In September last year, News24 carried an exclusive, scathing review of the book by Pauw.
Pauw wrote: “It is ultimately a tragedy that Minnie botched the Bird Island investigation. The lost boys deserved better but as a result, there are virtually no