Mark Minnie, the author of a new book detailing a pedophile ring that operated from Port Elizabeth in the 1980’s was investigating new leads at the time of his death.
Tafelberg Publishers were shocked to hear of the sudden death of Mark Minnie, co-author of The Lost Boys of Bird Island, one week after the release of the book.
Minnie’s body was found near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday.
Tafelberg’s last contact with Minnie was on Sunday night, but he had been out of reach since Monday morning. His cell phone had been switched off and he hadn’t responded to emails.
In the week preceding his death, Minnie had said nothing to Tafelberg to indicate that he might harm himself.
He was excited about the publication of the book and the disclosure of allegations which, according to him, had been covered up for thirty years.
He said that the book was “only the beginning” of the process to have justice prevail for the victims whose stories are told in the book.
Minnie told Tafelberg that he had successfully followed up several leads in Port Elizabeth during the past week and was determined to reveal further evidence.
He was also looking forward to Cape Town’s Open Book Festival where he, together with his co-author Chris Steyn and journalist Marianne Thamm, was going to discuss the book.
Steyn said she was shattered by Minnie’s unexpected death and stood by every word in the book.
“Mark said it was our task to have justice prevail for the victims. He would have wanted me to continue and that is exactly what I’ll be doing.”
In the meantime, Yasmin Sooka, executive director of the Foundation for Human Rights, has contacted Steyn to inform her that the foundation wants to take up the matter on behalf of the boys of Bird Island.
Steyn welcomed this, saying: “Mark will never know about this, but it is exactly what he hoped for. It is too late for him, but not for the victims.”