'Minnie understood he might become a target'

Author and assistant editor at the Daily Maverick Marianne Thamm says she is shocked by the death of former policeman Mark Minnie.

Minnie, the co-author of 'The Lost Boys of Bird Island' was found dead in Port Elizabeth on Monday night, with a bullet wound to the head and a firearm next to him.

He and investigative journalist Chris Steyn recently published the controversial book which implicates three former National Party ministers, including Magnus Malan, as central figures in a paedophilia ring that operated during apartheid.

Listen to the audio below: Book alleges Magnus Malan was a paedophile...

Thamm says Minnie was in South Africa conducting further investigations after a number of people came forward with more information on the scandal.

We were going to do a launch at the Open Book Festival and I know he was also conducting further investigations [on allegations which] were coming forward since the publication of the book and it had made headlines.

Marianne Thamm, author and assistant editor at the Daily Maverick

He had been in PE talking to sources. I spoke to Mark last week and there was no indication that he was feeling down...well he has always felt threatened, that people would like to see him out the way, so it came as a very big shock to me this morning that he would have committed suicide.

Marianne Thamm, author and assistant editor at the Daily Maverick

Thamm says Minnie understood that he might become a target.

Once he realised who he was dealing with he understood he might become a target, so I think Mark found himself investigating something without the backup of the police, he stumbled upon the story and then afterwards he was not protected either. I think we should have given him more protection in democratic South Africa.

Marianne Thamm, author and assistant editor at the Daily Maverick

I know police say at this stage that it is not foul play but there are questions around how was found, where he was found...

Marianne Thamm, author and assistant editor at the Daily Maverick

Click on the link below to hear more from Thamm...


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