Chris Steyn and Mark Minnie.
Cape Town - The co-author of controversial tell-all book The Lost Boys of Bird Island has hit back at naysayers, saying she will not apologise to the families of former apartheid cabinet ministers who were allegedly implicated in a paedophile ring.

Some media recently quoted former cabinet minister Barend du Plessis, and the family of late defence force head, General Magnus Malan, as demanding a public apology from Chris Steyn and book publishers Tafelberg following a leaked report on an investigation by private investigator Wouter de Swardt, which allegedly found no evidence that the two were involved in sex orgies with young coloured boys in the apartheid 1980s.

Tafelberg said it did not regard De Swardt’s report as credible and that it contained many inaccuracies.

Steyn also said she would not apologise and if any apology had to be made, it should come from De Swardt.

“I did not personally make the allegations in the book. I also did not make up the allegations in the book. I simply reported allegations made to me by various people I had spoken to. I did so accurately. I balanced those allegations with comment where available. So, there is no reason for me to apologise,” Said Steyn.

De Swardt and another private investigator, Dr David Klatzow, were commissioned by legal firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr on behalf of the Foundation for Human Rights to carry out an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of former policeman and co-author of the book, Mark Minnie.

Minnie was found dead on a small holding outside Port Elizabeth in August last year, shortly after the July release of the book.

He had been back in South Africa for a short while from China, where he had lived with his family for years.

The foundation said the probe was to determine whether Minnie had committed suicide or not.

According to the foundation, after the investigation was completed, De Swardt and Klatzow’s services were terminated as they no longer needed.

“We at the foundation, Cliffe, Dekker, Hofmeyr, and the family of Minnie are surprised and shocked that Wouter de Swart’s report, which we consider to be confidential, has been obtained illegally and is being used illegally,” a statement read.

The foundation also said information relevant to The Lost Boys of Bird Island was uncovered during the course of the investigation and it was handed over to the head of police investigating the matter.

The head of the Western Cape’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit, Brigadier Sonia Harri, is leading the investigation.

The Lost Boys of Bird Island contains chilling accounts of alleged sexual abuse of coloured teenagers by a ring including Malan, late businessman Dave Allen and late environmental affairs minister John Wiley.

It claims that the boys were flown to Bird Island, outside Port Elizabeth, by military helicopters where they were allegedly sexually assaulted.

Steyn said De Swardt had instead “falsely accused” her of fabricating rumours and allegations.

“De Swardt went as far as saying that he did not contact the surgeon I quoted in the book because he doubts he even exists.

Weekend Argus has seen email correspondence between Steyn and the surgeon.

She first wrote about the allegations in 2006, devoting a chapter to it in her book Publish and be Damned.

“That was met with no reaction - or action.”

“Other journalists have also reported on the same allegations over the years,” Steyn added.

Since the release of the book, more people had come forward with evidence.

Steyn said De Swardt spoke to very few people during his 11-day stay in Port Elizabeth.

“There are very many persons of interest whom he didn’t even try to contact.

“That makes it impossible to take his ‘investigation’ and his ‘reports’ seriously,” Steyn said.

“My investigation is continuing - and it is far from over.”

Police are conducting a high-level investigation into the allegations contained in the book.

“We have full confidence in the work they are doing,” Tafelberg said.

“You cannot solve a cold case of 31 years ago in six months.

“We need to give the police the space and time to do their work,” added Steyn.

Weekend Argus