South Africa:The Lost Boys of Bird Island - Secrets, Lies and Cover-Ups

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analysis By Chris Steyn and Mark Minnie

The book is a collaboration between journalist Chris Steyn and former undercover narcotics agent Mark Anthony Dawid Minnie. They compare notes to deliver a shocking story of apartheid-era criminality, cover-ups and official complicity in the rape and murder of children. Here is the foreword, written by Marianne Thamm.

In January 2015, an investigative team consisting of South African and Belgian police swooped on the home of a 37-year-old computer engineer, William Beale, located in the popular Garden Route seaside town of Plettenberg Bay. The raid on Beale came after months of meticulous planning that was part of an intercontinental investigation into an online child sex and pornography ring. The investigation was code-named Operation Cloud 9.

Beale was the first South African to be arrested. He was snagged as a direct result of the October 2014 arrest by members of the Antwerp Child Sexual Exploitation Team of a Belgian paedophile implicated in the ring. South African police, under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Heila Niemand, co-operated with Belgian counterparts to expose the sinister network, which extended across South Africa and the globe. By July 2017, at least 40 suspects had been arrested, including a 64-year-old Johannesburg legal consultant and a 20-year-old...

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