File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA).
Cape Town - Former president FW de Klerk has called for an investigation into the allegations of a paedophile ring involving a National Party minister in an explosive book, The Lost Boys of Bird Island.

De Klerk said he would have insisted on a “thorough” investigation had he known of the activities alleged in the book.

“I have been shocked by recent media reports regarding allegations in the book. I was not aware of any such allegations while I served in the cabinet. Had I known, I would certainly have insisted on a thorough investigation and criminal prosecution if it transpired that there was any basis to the allegations.”

However, he said the reports, thus far, were allegations that must still be properly investigated.

“I would urge the authorities to investigate thoroughly and speedily these allegations and to take whatever action might be required in terms of the law.”

He rejected charges that such “aberrations, if they did occur”, had been condoned by or reflected on National Party cabinets.

“My colleagues were decent people wrestling with the existential historic challenges of the time. The alleged behaviour would have been as repugnant to them as it is to me,” he said.

Co-author and former policeman Mark Minnie was found dead on a small holding outside Port Elizabeth this week. Police said his body had been found by a friend “lying near a bush with a gunshot wound to his head. A firearm was found lying next to him”.

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidoo said yesterday there was no new information on the inquest and the police had opened a case against the owner of the firearm, identified as Minnie’s friend. However, he has yet to be arrested.

Minnie’s death a week after the book he co-authored with investigative journalist Chris Steyn was published shocked the country.

The book details chilling accounts of alleged sexual abuse of coloured teens by a ring including late ex-SADF head Magnus Malan, late businessman Dave Allen and late environmental affairs minister John Wiley.

Weekend Argus