‘Lost Boys’ co-author welcomes probe
INVESTIGATIVE journalist and coauthor of The Lost Boys of Bird Island,
Chris Steyn, has welcomed the investigation into the apartheid-era paedophile ring allegedly involving former cabinet ministers.
Steyn said she hoped it would give people courage to share painful and guilty secrets.
The book contains details of alleged sexual assaults of mostly coloured boys by the top brass of the National Party, including former Defence Force head Magnus Malan, environmental affairs minister Mark Wiley, and businessman Dave Allen. The three are now dead, but another former minister who was allegedly involved is still alive.
Co-author and former policeman Mike Minnie, who knew the perpetrators, was found dead two weeks after the explosive allegations were made.
The investigation into the alleged incidents, dating back to the 1980s, is being headed by Brigadier Sonja Harri, the head of the Western Cape Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit.
Harri has more than 30 years’ experience and has helped solve many high-profile cases.
“I know that she is working very hard on this case. People who have had dealings with her trust her and regard her as somebody with integrity,” Steyn said.
The Foundation for Human Rights is also involved in the investigation.
Steyn said the investigation covered all the allegations contained in the book, as well as those made by people who had come forward since its publication.
“I am so grateful that the police are investigating the case properly for the first time… I think the police should be given time and space to do their work – regardless of how long it takes. Because of the sensitivity of this investigation and the historic nature of the alleged crimes, I think it could take some time,” Steyn added.
She said the inquiry would also give other people courage to share their “painful and guilty secrets”.
“I have already started receiving very important information on a couple of other unsolved cases. I am busy following up those leads.”
She also appealed to people with knowledge of any historic case involving allegations of paedophile rings or child trafficking to share information at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Don’t protect paedophiles with your silence,” she urged.