Bird Is­land au­thor shot him­self

Foren­sic re­sults show gun­shot residue on hands is that of Min­nie, say po­lice

Daily Dispatch - - News - GARETH WIL­SON

The pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the death of co-au­thor of con­tro­ver­sial book The Lost Boys of Bird Is­land, Mark Min­nie, shows his death was a sui­cide.

Min­nie‚ 58‚ was found dead on Au­gust 13 with a gun­shot wound to the head on a friend’s small­hold­ing in Theescombe, Port Eliz­a­beth.

The gun found ly­ing next to Min­nie’s body was owned by his friend and for­mer col­league, Brent Barnes.

Min­nie and jour­nal­ist, Chris Steyn, wrote The Lost Boys of Bird Is­land, a book that im­pli­cated high-rank­ing Na­tional Party cab­i­net min­is­ters and a busi­ness­man in the abuse of young boys dur­ing the 1980s.

Foren­sic re­sults con­firmed that gun­shot residue was found on Min­nie’s hands and cloth­ing, as well as on the firearm.

Po­lice spokesper­son Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the foren­sic re­sults con­firmed sui­cide. A po­lice handwriting ex­pert also sub­mit­ted a re­port that con­firmed the sui­cide note was writ­ten by Min­nie.

“Chrissy‚ don’t give up now‚” Min­nie wrote to Steyn in what he called his “last piece of writ­ing”.

Asked if the owner of the firearm, Barnes who Min­nie was stay­ing with – had been crim­i­nally charged Naidu, said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was on­go­ing with the docket sent to the se­nior state pros­e­cu­tor for a de­ci­sion to be made.

At the time, po­lice opened a case of neg­li­gence re­lat­ing to the safe­keep­ing of a firearm against Barnes.

The firearm was be­lieved to be locked away in a safe but re­moved by Min­nie.

The book al­leged that mem­bers of for­mer pres­i­dent PW Botha’s cab­i­net‚ in­clud­ing for­mer de­fence min­is­ter Mag­nus Malan and for­mer en­vi­ron­men­tal af­fairs min­is­ter John Wi­ley‚ were in­volved in child sex or­gies‚ along with for­mer po­lice re­servist and busi­ness­man Dave Allen.

Ear­lier this month, po­lice con­firmed that they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­leged pae­dophile ring linked to the politi­cians.

“Out of re­spect for the process as well as the sub­jects of this probe‚ de­tails at this stage can­not be di­vulged,” Bri­gadier Novela Potelwa said at the time.


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