Port Elizabeth - The children of former Port Elizabeth policeman and co-author of the explosive book "The Lost Boys of Bird Island" on Friday said they believed that he pulled the trigger and took his own life.
Just a week after the release of the book earlier this month, Mark Minnie was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head at a friend's farm in Theescombe. A suicide note was also discovered at the property.
The book, which is about high-ranking former National Party officials allegedly being part of a paedophile ring involving cabinet ministers in the late 1980s, is a collaboration between journalist Chris Steyn and Minnie.
Steyn told reporters that she was also prepared to accept the finding of suicide, however, she believed that there were events in the days leading up to his death that coerced him.
"I do not believe that he would have done that because he necessarily feared for his own life, I believe that he had a very good reason to do it possibly to protect other people," said Steyn.
Speaking at his memorial service held at the NG PE Wes Hall in Port Elizabeth on Friday, his son, Mark Minnie Jnr said that he hoped in his father's last moments he knew how much he was loved and respected.
His service was attended by his family, friends and former colleagues from the police's narcotics unit.
"I'll miss you every day and I love you with the whole heart and I hope in your last minutes, in your last breaths when you stood there and pulled the trigger I know, I hope, I really hope, it's the one thing that I hope -- I hope you knew how much I loved and respected you, that's all I can hope for."
In an emotional tribute, Minnie Jnr said that with the loss of his father he felt like he was "stripped naked and left out to die" having never in his life felt so much pain. He described his father as being his rock who had sacrificed so much for him.
Minnie Jnr said that his father was no coward.
"I will never fully understand but I will respect your decision. Some people say that suicide is the easy way out the road for the cowardly, but I stand here today and say that my father was no coward. He was by the far the strongest-hearted person I had ever had the honour of meeting. He lived for his children, there was nothing that he would not do for us. And for him to leave us like that, that was most likely the most difficult thing that he ever had to do."
Minnie Jnr said that when he saw his dad's lifeless body he believed that he was at peace, his eyes the bluest of blue, more beautiful than the sky or ocean.
Minnie's daughter Brooklyn described him as brave and definitely crazy, a man who would forever be her hero. She too echoed her brother's sentiments saying that she "respected" her father's decision.
Police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu said that earlier this week a handwriting expert authenticated the suicide note and confirmed it was written by Minnie.
Naidu said the family were also called in to view the note and conceded that it was Minnie's handwriting.
African News Agency (ANA)