The Lost Boys of Bird Island

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The Lost Boys of Bird Island
Lost Boys of Bird Island cover.jpg
AuthorMark Minnie and Chris Steyn
CountrySouth Africa
SubjectCorruption in South Africa, Politics of South Africa, Magnus Malan, Paedophilia, Apartheid South Africa.
PublishedCape Town
Publication date
5 August 2018
ISBN9780624081449 (Paperback)

The Lost Boys of Bird Island (2018) is a non-fiction book by Mark Minnie, a former police detective and Chris Steyn, an investigative journalist, both from South Africa. The book is about alleged corruption within the last Apartheid government of South Africa and a paedophile network whose most notable members were alleged to be the apartheid era defence minister Magnus Malan and the minister of environmental affairs John Wiley.[1][2] The book is named after Bird Island, in Algoa Bay just off the coast of South Africa, where the ring apparently operated.[3] Billed as an exposé of former National Party cabinet ministers taking coloured boys for illicit rendezvous to Bird Island off Port Elizabeth in the 1980s, the controversial “Lost Boys of Bird Island” book has now been withdrawn by its publishers. Unsold copies have been removed from bookstores. Carte Blanche revealed new evidence that suggests key events depicted in the book could not possibly have happened and speak to Barend du Plessis, one of the ministers named in media reports on the book, who has been given a formal apology for being linked to the allegations. [4]

Background and synopsis[edit]

The book investigates a paedophile network that allegedly included prominent members of the South African government and business community who took children to Bird Island where they were abused, and some possibly murdered. It details the level of their involvement in the paedophile ring, abuse of the children, alleged acts of murder to cover up the crimes, as well as corruption and abuse of state resources by the network's members.[5][3]


The book and its revelations were widely covered in the South African media upon its release in August 2018. Shortly after the book was published, co-author Mark Minnie was found dead in his home outside Port Elizabeth from an apparent suicide.[3][6] In March 2020, the book was retracted from the market by its publishers, Tafelberg, a subsidiary of NB Publishers, and an apology was issued to the implicated living former minister Barend du Plessis. The apology was not extended to any other individuals mentioned in the book. [7]


  1. ^ "Tafelberg". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  2. ^ "Book brings home chilling tales of paedophilia at hands of ex-ministers". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  3. ^ a b c "OVERVIEW: Suicide note found on the scene of Mark Minnie's death - police". News24. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Minnie, Chris Steyn and Mark. "The Lost Boys of Bird Island: Secrets, lies and cover-ups". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  6. ^ McKaiser, Eusebius. "'The Lost Boys' speaks to us all". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  7. ^ Riaan Grobler, news24. "'The Lost Boys of Bird Island': Publishers withdraw paedophilia scandal book". Retrieved 2020-03-04.