Owner of firearm found next to Mark Minnie's body could be charged

The owner of the firearm that was found next to the body of co-author of The Lost Boys of Bird Island Mark Minnie, could be charged with negligence.

Police spokesperson Captain Johan Rheeder said the owner, believed to be a friend of Minnie's, could be charged after his firearm was found near to Minnie's body.

Rheeder added that, although a case has not yet been opened, it was standard procedure.

Fifty-eight-year-old Minnie was found on the friend's smallholding in Theescombe on Monday evening and he had a gunshot wound to the head. The firearm was next to his body.

READ: Mark Minnie did not use his own firearm in alleged suicide – police

Rheeder also confirmed that an autopsy had been performed on Minnie on Tuesday.

He said blood samples were taken and gun residue tests on Minnie's hands were done before they were sent to a forensics laboratory in Cape Town for testing.

Responding to rumours that Minnie was shot between the eyes, Rheeder said he could confirm that Minnie had sustained a single gunshot wound to the head, but could not be more specific about the location of the wound.

He added that the death was still being treated as an inquest.

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

Since news of his death broke, many have questioned the timing and nature of Minnie's death.

"There is no way that he would have taken his own life. What is happening is very scary. Clearly, there is more to this," said a former colleague, who worked with Minnie when he was in the police narcotics unit in the 1980s. The person did not want to be named.

Another colleague, who also asked to remain anonymous, described Minnie as a man who "worked hard and played hard".

"He was a bit of a maverick, but he got things done. He had a wide network of contacts back then," he said.  



News24 previously reported that the book detailed how three former National Party ministers, including one who is still alive, were alleged central figures in a paedophile ring that operated during apartheid.

Investigations into Malan – as well as John Wiley (former minister of environmental affairs) and another former minister, who was considered a possible successor to then president PW Botha and who is still alive – were halted by the police, and the investigating officer was hounded from service in the 1980s.

These and other explosive allegations are contained in the book by Minnie, a former police officer, and Chris Steyn, a former investigative journalist.

According to the book, Malan, Wiley and the other minister were involved, along with disgraced Port Elizabeth businessman Dave Allen, in ferrying coloured minors to Bird Island, in Algoa Bay near Port Elizabeth, where the children were molested and forced to satisfy the older men's sexual fantasies.

Malan died in 2011, while Wiley and Allen's deaths in 1987 were recorded as suicides, fuelling the speculation around Minnie's death.