Fox Forensics Private Investigations and Security Consultants CC
Registration No: CK 2009/159987/23
PSIRA Reg. No: 1863525
18 September 2018
Our Ref: Minnie/08/2018 7551
Foundation for Human Rights
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer inc
1 Protea Place
P O Box 1464
Cell: 072 203 6660
ATT: Adv. Howard Varney
Re: investigation into death of Mark Minnie and paedophilia
Dear Mr Varney
On Thursday 16/08/2018 I was contracted and instructed to travel to Port Elizabeth to investigate the death of Mark Minnie and the connection and allegations of a paedophile ring in the 1980’s. I arrived in P.E. the afternoon of the same day and started with the investigation immediately. At that stage I was accompanied by Dr. David Klatzow.
Please note that I will not report on or repeat the very many rumours and allegations concerning the matter. The report is based on fact findings.
On arrival at the hotel where we were booked we met with the co-author of the book “The lost boys of Bird Island” Chris Steyn and her partner/assistant Benade Kruger . They were booked into the same hotel. After introductions we went to Dr. Klatzow’s room for a meeting – the main intend being to exchange information concerning the matter at hand. Ms Steyn was accompanied by two other men who were introduced as her bodyguards.
The meeting did not last long and nothing was accomplished. During the meeting Dr. Klatzow made a call the Premier Hellen Zille to inform her that he was in P.E. investigating the case. The meeting was adjourned and Ms Steyn then invited me to join them at Die Kelder restaurant for dinner. During this dinner we got acquainted and agreed to exchange information considering the death of Mark Minnie and related matters.
During this meeting Ms Steyn made it clear that she did not believe that Mark Minnie would commit suicide. She was of the strong opinion that he was killed by a third party or that he was forced into killing himself. She had no evidence to support her opinion.
The morning of Friday 17/08/2018 I arranged to meet with Markus Minnie – the son who came from China – and his mother Bernie – the ex-wife – at their residence in a typical middle-class income area of Port Elizabeth. This is the same address where Minnie stayed over the night before his death. DR. Klatzow was present. Not much was gathered from this meeting. Bernie reported that Minnie left the house at about 08h00 on Monday 13/08/2018 and said he is going to Tsitsikamma. They too reported that they did not think he committed suicide. I asked about the whereabouts of Mark Minnie’s laptop. They both explained that they do not know where it is but I could deduct that that was not true. I explained the importance of obtaining the laptop to look for clues or threats related to the death and investigation in general.
Dr. Klatzow and I then went to the Government morgue to view the body of Mark Minnie but because there was no appointment made we were refused permission to view the body there. Arrangements were made by the family to collect the body to be removed to a private funeral undertaker. We then went to view the body at the Algoa Funeral Undertakers. Because the official autopsy was already done one could not deduct much from the viewing except that the trajectory of the bullet was clear.
We returned to the hotel late afternoon from where I followed up various leads and information and made arrangements to meet Brent Barnes the following day for further investigation. I dropped Dr.Klatzow off at the airport at 08h00 the next day - Saturday 17/08/2018. He returned to Cape Town.
Brent Barnes then called to report that the SAPS crime scene unit was on the farm again. I decided not to interfere and met Brent at a coffee shop closest to the farm. During this meeting Brent explained that he and Minnie had known each other for decades and were in the SAPS together. He said that it was not uncommon for Minnie to just arrive on the farm and stay for some time. Minnie knew the combination of the safe because he kept his passport and foreign currency there. (see attached marked “Safe”). He found Minnie’s body that evening after going out to look for him after family called to ask if he had seen Minnie.
We then went to the farm.On arrival at the farm of Brent Barnes in Theescombe the SAPS crime scene investigation unit was still on the scene of the death. I could observe from a distance that they were working very professionally and thoroughly with the use of a dummy body and laser beams. They clearly established the trajectory of the bullet and recovered the projectile. Out of professional courtesy I did not approach them.
When the SAPS unit left I visited the scene in the presence of one of Brent’s farm workers that goes by the name of Maliky and used him as a “dummy” to record what I have observed. See photos attached marked SOD (scene of death). It can be clearly deducted that Mark Minnie sat down upright with his legs stretched out in front of him – placed the barrel of the gun against his forehead – aimed the gun in a slight downward angle – and pulled the trigger - most likely with the thumb of his right hand. This clearly explains the trajectory of bullet through his brain. Death was instant. I then interviewed Maliky further as well as the other workers who were present on the farm the morning of the incident. They all reported and agreed that:
On the same day – Saturday 18/08/2018 – I met with Mark Janse van Rensburg (JVR) – a Private Investigator from Port Elizabeth who knows the area and the people very well. He knew Mark Minnie very well. They served in the police at the same time. JVR became an integral part of the investigation as consultant.
JVR arranged for me to meet Melanie Sheppard – an ex-girlfriend of Minnie - at “The Caveman” bar that he co-owns. She duly arrived at 15h00 and we got on well. She agreed to meet me for dinner that evening because the bar was too noisy and public to converse on the matter. We met later that evening at a restaurant of her choice - sushi restaurant in the Walmer area. During the cause of dinner and conversation she told me that Minnie came to visit her a week before his death and during the visit asked to use her computer to check his emails. He did that. After his death she discovered that he did not lock out of the email account. She could not tell if he did not lock out while being there or at a later stage.
She decided to look at his emails and discovered a “suicide note” that he wrote at 01h44 the morning of 13/08/2018 – the day of his death. She also discovered bank emails and files of what appeared to be manuscripts of two more books. She made copies of these onto a memory stick and gave it to a man called George to keep safe. She agreed to give me the email address and the password the next day. I specifically asked her if Minnie acted "strange" or depressed in any way and she said he acted normal. She said he was excited about the book release. She agreed to cooperate fully.
On Sunday 19/08/2018 Markus Minnie (the son) contacted me and said they found the laptop. I refrained from asking where and how. He handed it to me at 16h00 the same day at the hotel where I was residing.
The same day Melanie contacted me and supplied me with the email address and password. During that evening I searched through the email and found the “suicide note” attached hereto and marked as such. I also found the two manuscripts (attached as “The Switch” and “Purple Tears”) and a Standard Bank email confirming the purchase of rope at Builders Express the morning of 13/08/2018. (see attached marked Rope purchase). There were thousands of emails and because I knew that Tafelberg Publishers had the copy right to the books and because I simply did not have the time I contacted Chris Steyn and supplied her with the email address and password and requested her to check and look for information of importance. We did not risk changing the password because of security warnings that kept popping up
. On Monday 20/08/2018 I handed the laptop to a computer technician that I pre-arranged. He made a “clone” of the hard drive and did a basic search (mined) for deleted data.
He discovered that thousands of lines of data were deleted. He managed to recover search history via the Temporary Files on the system. The recovered search history clearly shows that Minnie did extensive research on how to commit suicide. Of particular interest is a search explaining at what angle the gun should be held to make sure the brain is completely penetrated and destroyed and how to tie a knot in a rope for the purpose of hanging one self. (see attached screen shots marked “Search History”).
On Monday 20/08/2018 at 11h00 JVR arranged for me to meet the Tommy Case – who in the book is named as William Hart. Tommy is a 58 year old white male who lives on the streets of P.E. - mainly in the Walmer area where he is clearly well known. He lives on a small SASSA grant and money he begs at street corners. He sleeps in the back-yard of the public library. He is in a wheelchair after suffering a massive stroke in 2012.
I interviewed Tommy extensively at different times of every other day for the next few days. Some of the meetings I recorded with his permission and with JVR as witness. Tommy’s explanation of what he knows about Dave Allen and paedophilia in the 1980’s never changed. He admitted that he is and has been an alcoholic that uses drugs since the age of twelve. He admitted to being bi-sexual and told of how he sold sex on the streets of P.E. to survive. He explained how he got to meet Dave Allen and how he was Allen’s “toy boy” three to four years. He says Allen was in love with him but when he reached the age of 18 Allen “got rid” of him to get a younger boy.He denied see other men with boys at Allen’s house. He told many stories of how Allen taught him how to dive and how they went to dive for coral for Allen to sell.
When asked if he has read the book “The lost boys of Bird Island” he said he knows about the book and that Minnie kept on promising him to bring him a copy to read but never did. I then handed him a copy of the booked and asked him to mark the parts that he does not agree with or that he sees as truths or lies or twisted information. He read the book in one day . When asked about the parts of the book where he was mentioned and other sections he responded in anger:
I visited Advocate Hanelie Bakker on two occasions at her offices and we discussed the matter and the possibility of her taking a sworn statement from Tommy but on her advice this was not done because Tommy is a known alcoholic and drug user and therefore has a very low credibility. The rest of the time in P.E. was spent following up leads that that did not present any useable evidence or witnesses. I left P.E. on Friday 27/08/2018.
On Saturday 25/08/2018 I met with two sources at different places and times in the Centurion area whilst in Gauteng. Their names will be withheld. The one is a retired Colonel and Puma helicopter pilot. He reported that he knew of military Puma helicopter being used to recover nets filled with sink metal that was removed from the wreck of the Sacramento wreck. This was apparently done under instructions from Air Force Base commanders at P.E. He was not aware of helicopters that were used to ferry children to the island. He explained that it takes about 45 minutes to fly to Bird Island per Puma helicopter with a minimum crew of three. This begs the question: where are all these crew members that were supposedly involved in ferrying boys to the island? Nobody has presented themselves as witnesses.
The second person I met in Centurion is an ex-Boss (Buro Of State Security) and SAPS Crime Intelligence officer. He reported that Mark Minnie was constantly under scrutiny in the 80’s and 90’s after he left the police because of criminal activities he was involved with. These included owning and running a brothel where some of the girls were under legal age; dealing in diamonds; involvement in Rhino horn and Abalone smuggling; and involvement with very well-known criminal elements whose names are now known to me but being withheld for safety reasons. This certainly places Mark Minnie’s credibility in question.
The question remains as to why Minnie took his own life at a time when it all seems to “come together” for him with the very successful launch and sales of the book. There can be a few theories on this subject but based on what I have learned and heard throughout the investigation my theory is that Mark Minnie realized that he would have to face the consequences of the untruths he presented as facts in the book and he was not willing or able to do that. He would have had to face too many questions very publicly for which he could not possibly have acceptable answers or explanations for. There is also the very real possibility that that criminal elements from his past were catching up with him as well.
Foundation or any other authority the Foundation instructs me to work with.
Please contact me for further information or clarity on any of the above content.
Wouter de Swardt
Owner and lead investigator of Fox Forensics