According to reports, the controversial book, The Lost Boys of Bird Island, in which three former National Party (NP) Cabinet ministers were accused of sexually molesting underage boys, has been withdrawn.
NB Publishers, have apologised to former Finance Minister, Barend Du Plessis, for publishing the book which is filled with allegations that implicates him.
The book was co-written by Chris Steyn and Mark Minnie, who reportedly took his own life in August 2018. It reads that three former National Party ministers, including strongman Magnus Malan and John Wiley, are named as central figures in a paedophilia ring that operated on Bird Island during apartheid.
Malan and Wiley are both deceased and though the third former minister was not named in the book, former finance minister Barend du Plessis reportedly made a public statement saying he believed he was being implicated.
According to News24, Tafelberg, a subsidiary of NB Publishers, released a statement saying it had withdrawn both Afrikaans and English unsold copies of the book from bookshops. The e-book had also been removed from online e-trade platforms.
Reports say that Johan Victor Attorneys, representing Du Plessis and the families of two deceased ministers named in the book, said that after months of investigations following the book being published, there was no concrete evidence showing any of the ministers was guilty of any form of paedophilia at Bird Island, or anywhere else.
IOL reports that, Attorney Johan Victor made the following statements, “It is shocking that in today’s climate, NB Publishers allowed for such an unsubstantiated book to be printed. This book does not vindicate any victim of sexual molestation, it rather makes light of their suffering, and can be a deterrent for true victims to come forward.”
“The book, which was published as non-fiction, by NB Publishers, a division of MEDIA24 Boeke (Pty) Ltd under the publishing imprint ‘TAFELBERG’ 1, was nothing but a fabrication, and a web of lies weaved by the co-authors of the book, Mark Minnie and Chris Steyn,”