The Lost Boys of Bird Island author Chris Steyn releases statement addressing the last words of her late co-author Mark Minnie

Image: Chris Steyn and Mark Minnie

Tafelberg Publishers has issued a statement on behalf of Chris Steyn, author of the controversial new exposé The Lost Boys of Bird Island.

The book names three former National Party ministers, including Magnus Malan, as central figures in the systematic abuse, rape and possible murder of a number of children, most of them vulnerable and black, during apartheid.

Steyn’s co-author Mark Minnie was found dead near Port Elizabeth one week after the release of the book.

A number of commentators stated that they found the death suspicious, but Steyn’s statement appears to put those suspicions to rest.

Read the statement from Tafelberg:

Statement by Tafelberg Publishers on behalf of Chris Steyn, author of The Lost Boys of Bird Island

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.

These were Mark Minnie’s last words to me. They are extracted from a letter written shortly before he died. He called it his ‘last piece of writing’.

This is my reply:

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.

In his final chapter of the book, Mark Minnie said he hoped the boy who was secretly treated in hospital is still alive. ‘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.’

It was Minnie’s final wish that victims and people with more information would come forward and that there would be a proper investigation. He wanted the voices of the victims to be heard. Let’s give him his final wish.

Anybody with information on the The Lost Boys of Bird Island can email us on

In Minnie’s final note he also says he is tired and is looking forward to eternal rest. The rest of his note is addressed to his family.




The Reading List received the following statement from the publishers of The Lost Boys of Bird Island, NB Publishers:

Media24 is required to reach out to all online content referencing the book, The Lost Boys of Bird Island as part of a settlement agreement. I have been instructed by Media24 CEO, Ishmet Davidson, to kindly request that you add the statements below and a link to the press releases.

Media24 has apologised for the publication of defamatory statements regarding Mr Barend Du Plessis in the books “The Lost Boys of Bird Island” and “Die Seuns Van Bird Island” and for the emotional harm that the publication of the books may have caused the Malan and Wiley families. Follow this link to the relevant apologies.

Categories Non-fiction South Africa South African Current Affairs

Tags Chris Steyn Mark Minnie NB Publishers Tafelberg Tafelberg Publishers The Lost Boys of Bird Island

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