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As speculation around Mark Minnie's death continues and the contents of the book remains a talking point, there are several unanswered questions, writes Jessica Levitt

Via TimesLIVE

By Jessica Levitt

The apparent suicide of co-author of controversial book The Lost Boys of Bird Island, Mark Minnie, has resulted in suspicion around the circumstances around his death. The book, which was released on 5 August, details an alleged paedophilia ring that operated during apartheid.

Authors Mark Minnie and Chris Steyn named high-profile National Party ministers in that period including John Wiley, Magnus Malan, an unnamed minister and controversial Port Elizabeth businessman Dave Allen as being involved in the operation which allegedly raped and molested young coloured boys.

Minnie was found dead at a friend’s farm on August 13 and despite police saying a suicide note and gun was found next to his body, several unnamed friends have expressed their shock at his suicide, with one person telling HeraldLIVE “I do not believe he would have taken his own life.”

As speculation around Minnie’s death continues and the contents of the book remains a talking point, there are several unanswered questions.

What happened to the boys of Bird Island?

On the final page of The Lost Boys of Bird Island, Mark Minnie appeals to victims of the alleged paedophilia ring to 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.”

Minnie was a former police officer during apartheid when he was asked by his brigadier to contact a woman who was part of his (the brigadiers) church. The woman claimed her son had “some info.”

Minnie followed up and the woman and her son led him to her older son who was in hospital. The boy had allegedly been raped and a “foreign object forced up him.” Records of the boy’s stay at hospital were destroyed.

Minnie meets a second boy, who he refers to as William Hart in the book. William Hart is a pseudonym used by the author to protect the identity of the boy. Hart was an informant for the police and was also allegedly a victim of the paedophilia ring and was the person who identified Dave Allen, John Allen, an unnamed minister and “Ore” the name the boys used to refer to Magnus Malan.

After months of investigation, the docket with all of the information about the case that Minnie had gathered went missing from his office.

“Looking around, I quickly discover that the Allen case docket is gone. The entire file has disappeared without my knowledge or approval.”

Nobody knows what came of the two boys and the others who were alleged victims of rape and molestation at the hands of ministers.

The mystery matron & 10k

Minnie was sent by his brigadier to speak to a woman her son about “information.” He later discovered and interviewed a young boy who had been raped. He had a nurse who was a contact at the hospital and she detailed an incident that happened when she was on night shift.

She said a helicopter had landed, a patient was wheeled into the private ward by three men dressed in grey suits and only the matron was allowed to tend to him. The nurse told Minnie she had peeked into the room and there was a young coloured boy being treated. There was, however, no record of the boy nor of him being in hospital. The matron who had helped the boy mysteriously disappeared, but Minnie tracked her down and she said she had been given R10,000.

“I haven’t spent a cent, not a penny, Sergeant Max. All of the money is still here. I always knew it was trouble. It’s dirty money. And now God has seen fit to punish me for my sins. Oh God, please forgive me.”

Continue reading here.

Book details

  • The Lost Boys of Bird Island: A shocking exposé from within the heart of the NP government by Mark Minnie, Chris Steyn
    EAN: 9780624081432
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

RIP Mark Minnie, co-author of The Lost Boys of Bird Island

 

The Lost Boys of Bird Island

Book details
The Lost Boys of Bird Island: A shocking exposé from within the heart of the NP government by Mark Minnie, Chris Steyn
EAN: 9780624081432
Find this book with BOOK Finder!

The cover of Mohale Mashigo's new short story collection has been revealed!

Intruders
Synonyms: trespassers, interlopers, invaders, prowlers, infiltrators, encroachers, violators

 
Orphan sisters chase monsters of urban legend in Bloemfontein. At a busy taxi rank, a woman kills a man with her shoe. A genomicist is accused of playing God when she creates a fatherless child.

Intruders is a collection that explores how it feels not to belong. These are stories of unremarkable people thrust into extraordinary situations by events beyond their control.

With a unique and memorable touch, Mohale Mashigo explores the everyday ills we live with and wrestle constantly, all the while allowing hidden energies to emerge and play out their unforeseen consequences.

Intruders is speculative fiction at its best.

MOHALE MASHIGO, is the author of the widely acclaimed and best-selling novel, The Yearning, which won the University of Johannesburg 2016 Debut Prize for South African Writing in English, as well as of Beyond the River, a young adult adaptation of the movie of the same name. She is also an award-winning singer, songwriter and comic book writer for the Kwezi series.

Intrigued by the revealing the cover for yourself? Try your hand at it here.

Book details

RIP V.S. Naipaul (17 August 1932 - 11 August 2018)

Via Times Select

By Andrew Donaldson

There has been a flood of tributes and career appraisals following the death at the weekend of VS Naipaul, arguably the greatest and most infuriating figure in post-colonial literature. For more than five decades he gave his readers often searing and withering portraits of societies in the developing world.

That honesty earned him severe criticism – and not just for his particular point of view on the colonialism and post-colonialism so unequivocally detailed in his novels and travel writing. He was just as brutal when it came to his own failings as a man, so much so that his violent behaviour threatened to overwhelm his literary reputation.

He spared his biographer, Patrick French, nothing – so much so that the latter’s The World Is What It Is: The Authorised Biography of VS Naipaul (Vintage, 2009) is a gobsmacking page-turner.

Naipaul was fairly open about the humiliation he caused his first wife, Patricia Hale, and the 20-year affair he conducted with Margaret Gooding, a women he regularly assaulted. When the affair began, his editor Diana Athill rebuked him for his behaviour. He told her: “I am having carnal pleasure for the first time in my life, are you saying I must give it up?”

Pleasure meant degrading Gooding in bed. As Naipaul told French: “I was very violent with her for two days with my hand; my hand began to hurt … She didn’t mind it at all. She thought of it in terms of my passion for her. Her face was bad. She couldn’t appear really in public. My hand was swollen. I was utterly helpless. I have enormous sympathy for people who do strange things out of passion.”

What to read, though, of the 29 books that Naipaul produced? His first collection of short stories, Miguel Street (1959), details the lives of ordinary Trinidadians in a run-down corner of Port of Spain. The novels A House for Mr Biswas (1961), The Mimic Men (1967) and A Bend in the River (1978) are pretty much essential. Of his non-fiction work I recommend The Loss of El Dorado (1969), his India travelogues, An Area of Darkness (1964), India: A Wounded Civilisation (1977) and India: A Million Mutinies Now (1990), Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey (1981) and Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples (1998).

He was particularly scathing about South Africans in The Masque of Africa: Glimpses of African Belief (2010). An uncomfortable experience, you could say.

The World is What it Is

Book details
The World is What it Is: The Authorized Biography of VS Naipaul by Patrick French
EAN: 9780330455985
Find this book with BOOK Finder!
 
 
 

Miguel Street

Miguel Street by VS Naipaul
EAN: 9780435989545
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A House for Mr Biswas

A House for Mr Biswas by VS Naipaul
EAN: 9780330522892
Find this book with BOOK Finder!
 
 
 
 
 
The Mimic Men

The Mimic Men by VS Naipaul
EAN: 9780330522922
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A Bend in the River

A Bend in the River by VS Naipaul
EAN: 9780330522991
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The Loss of El Dorado

The Loss of El Dorado by VS Naipaul
EAN: 9780330522847
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An Area of Darkness

An Area of Darkness: His Discovery of India by VS Naipaul
EAN: 9780330522830
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India: A Wounded Civilization

India: A Wounded Civilization by VS Naipaul
EAN: 9780330522717
Find this book with BOOK Finder!
 
 
 
 
 
 
India: A Million Mutinies Now

India: A Million Mutinies Now by VS Naipaul
EAN: 9780330519861
Find this book with BOOK Finder!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Among the Believers

Among the Believers by VS Naipaul
EAN: 9780330522823
Find this book with BOOK Finder!

 
 
 

Beyond Belief

Beyond Belief by VS Naipaul
EAN: 9780330517874
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The Masque of Africa

The Masque of Africa by VS Naipaul
EAN: 9780330472043
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The collection of love letters between Karina M. Szczurek and André P. Brink, selected and edited by Karina herself, is now available

Novelist André Brink married Karina Szczurek when he was 71 and she was 29. They were together for 10 years before he died on a plane, beside her, high above Africa in February 2015.

Selected and edited by Karina M. Szczurek, the love letters between herself and the writer André Brink included in You Make Me Possible tell in detail the story of how they met in Austria in December 2004, fell in love, and decided to forge a future together.

The intense correspondence which followed in the weeks after their fateful encounter recounts their courtship in words, revealing their initially unacknowledged attraction, their fears and longings, and writing a new world of recognition and togetherness into being.

The letters chronicle the time between their first meeting and Karina’s decision to relocate to South Africa to be with André in 2005 – a relationship which lasted until his death in 2015.

Karina was born in Jelenia Góra, Poland, and lived in Austria, the United States and Wales, before finding a home in South Africa. Her doctoral thesis was published as Truer than Fiction: Nadine Gordimer Writing Post-Apartheid South Africa (2008).

She is the editor of Touch: Stories of Contact (2009), Encounters with André Brink (2010), and Contrary: Critical Responses to the Novels of André Brink (with Willie Burger, 2013). Her play for young adults A Change of Mind won the MML Literature Award in the Category English Drama in 2012. She also writes short stories, book reviews, essays, and poetry. She lives in Cape Town with her three cats. Invisible Others was her first novel. It was longlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize.

Her memoir The Fifth Mrs Brink was published in 2017.

Book details

The Lost Boys of Bird Island: a shocking story of criminality, cover-ups and official complicity in the rape and possible murder of children

It is the late 1980s.

Serious allegations surface against three prominent National Party cabinet ministers, one of them the second‐most powerful man in the land.

They are, it is said, regularly abusing young boys on an island just off the coast of Port Elizabeth. From opposite ends of South Africa, a brave cop and a driven journalist investigate. Mark Minnie and Chris Steyn independently uncover evidence of a dark secret. But the case only surfaces briefly before it disappears completely.

Thirty years later, the two finally connect the dots to expose this shocking story of criminality, cover‐ups and official complicity in the rape and possible murder of children, most of them vulnerable and black.

Book details

  • The Lost Boys of Bird Island: A shocking exposé from within the heart of the NP government by Mark Minnie, Chris Steyn
    EAN: 9780624081432
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!