Mark Minnie's suicide note: 'Don't give up, Chrissy'
"Chrissy, don’t give up now. You are almost home."
These were the words of Mark Minnie, the co-author of The Lost Boys of Bird Island, in his suicide note to journalist Chris Steyn, who co-authored the controversial book with him.
Tafelberg Publishers on Tuesday released part of the note which was addressed to Steyn. The rest was addressed to his family and has not been released. Minnie called it his "last piece of writing".
Minnie was found dead last week outside Port Elizabeth, with a gunshot wound to the head. The police have opened an inquest docket and do not suspect any foul play.
In the note, Minnie also says he is tired and looking forward to "eternal rest".
The full released text reads:
"The pitiful cries of the lost boys of Bird Island have haunted me for the past 31 years. At last their story is out. Chrissy, don’t give up now. You are almost home. No government officials preventing you from investigating this time round."
Steyn’s reply to Minnie was also released by the publishing house:
"Mark, I will keep going. You knew that. I just wish you could have been here to go through all the new leads with me. If only you were still alive to see all the information and incredible confirmation that has come in since the book was published. You would have felt some vindication at last.
"But I have good news, Mark. There is already enough to start building a new docket. Once we are ready, we will hand it over for further action. That was all you ever wanted. A proper investigation.
"But you don’t have to worry about it anymore. And nobody is going to steal this docket, Chrissy."
The Lost Boys of Bird Island has been slammed in recent weeks, with critics saying the book does not contain enough evidence to support its claims.
Minnie and Steyn allege that coloured children were sexually molested by apartheid era ministers Magnus Malan, John Wiley, an unnamed minister who is still alive, and Port Elizabeth businessman Dave Allen. Malan, Wiley and Allen are all dead.
Tony Heard, who was Steyn’s editor at the Cape Times when she originally investigated the allegations in 1987, said last week he had published what he could when Steyn presented her stories to him.
Former colleagues of Malan have also come out strongly in his defence, saying he would not have been involved in paedophila.
In a statement Tafelberg quotes Minnie from the book where he expresses the hope that victims of the alleged molestation will come forward to tell their story.
"I also hope that if there is anyone out there who has any knowledge of him or any of these missing boys, the Lost Boys of Bird Island, that they will come forward. Any victims who suffered at the hands of Dave Allen and company, let your voices be heard. Do not remain silent any longer."