‘Bird Island’ co-author welcomes apartheid paedophile ring probe
INVESTIGATIVE journalist and coauthor of the controversial book The
Lost Boys of Bird Island Chris Steyn has welcomed the top investigation announced into the apartheid paedophile ring involving Cabinet ministers, saying she hoped it would give people courage to share painful and guilty secrets for the first time in decades.
The book contains details of alleged sexual assaults of coloured boys by a ring, including former South African defence minister Magnus Malan, environmental affairs minister Mark Wiley and businessman Dave Allen.
The three are now dead, but another former Cabinet minister who was allegedly involved is still alive and his name, although mentioned to the authors, was not included.
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 she co-authored with former policemen Mark Minnie, as well as allegations made by people who had come forward with information since the book’s publication.
“I am so grateful the police are investigating the case properly for the first time… They 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.”
She said the inquiry would also give other people courage to share their “painful or guilty secrets” for the first time in decades.
“I have already started receiving very important information on a couple of other unsolved cases. I am busy following up those leads right now,” Steyn said.
She appealed to people with knowledge of any historic case involving allegations of paedophile rings and/ or child trafficking to share info at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Don’t protect paedophiles with your silence,” she urged.