Mark Minnie's death was 'definitely not a suicide' - family member

A relative of Mark Minnie says the family does not believe he committed suicide, as the narrative up to this point would suggest.

Minnie, 58, was found on a friend's smallholding in Theescombe, Port Elizabeth, on Monday evening with a gunshot wound to the head and a firearm next to his body.

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He co-authored the controversial book, The Lost Boys of Bird Island, which details allegations that former apartheid minister Magnus Malan was part of a paedophile network.

Minnie’s relative, Tersia Dodo, told the SABC in an interview on Wednesday that he had feared for his life and told family and friends that he was being watched.

"I spoke to a couple of my cousins today and to all of them, he expressed that his life was in danger, and that if anything did happen to him, we must know that it was done to him, not by himself," Dodo said.

Dodo also told the SABC that the things Minnie had been exposed to as a result of being involved with the investigation surrounding the book had "really plagued him".

She indicated that there was still "further information" that had yet to come to light, in addition to what was already revealed in the book.

The family, according to Dodo, believes the suicide note found at the scene was staged.

'I don't believe a suicide note exists'

"This supposed suicide note was either written under duress, and I would like to see it before I will believe that it was written by Mark."

The family insists that Minnie was not the type of man who would have opted for suicide as a way out.

In a separate telephonic interview, also with the SABC, Dodo said that Minnie, who worked as a lecturer in China, had only been in South Africa for a couple of weeks, meeting regularly with the book’s publishers.

Minnie had apparently told Dodo and several other people that he felt his life was under threat.

"My reaction was that it was definitely not a suicide and it’s the same reaction that we all have had."

Dodo said that the alleged suicide note was not being released by the police to anyone.

"I don’t believe that a suicide note exists at this stage."

According to the police, Minnie’s death was still being treated as an inquest.

WATCH: Author Mark Minnie's death - What we know so far