Apartheid ‘paedophile ring’ book withdrawn

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A controversial book that accused ministers in South Africa’s white-minority regime of being part of a paedophile ring has been withdrawn by its publishers

NB Publishers took the decision following legal pressure from lawyers representing Barend du Plessis, a former finance minister, who described it as a “web of lies”.

Mr Du Plessis was not named in the book, The Lost Boys of Bird Island, but NB Publishers said it accepted that there was enough information to identify him as “an involved party”.

The two ministers named in the book – Magnus Malan and John Wiley – are both dead.

“NB Publishers unreservedly apologises for the publication of these allegations to the extent that they implicate Mr Du Plessis, and for the attendant infringement of his dignity and impairment of his reputation, as well as the emotional distress this caused him and his family,” the statement said. But the publisher said the apology was limited to Mr Du Plessis.

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It did not extend to “any other person identified in the book as having played a role in the events portrayed in the book.

“NB Publishers shall defend any attempt at discrediting the book and its contents in the appropriate forum.”  Mr Du Plessis’ legal representatives said the “inescapable fact” was that “32 years since the alleged acts would have occurred, there has been no evidence whatsoever from any of many investigations, that implicates any of the ministers in the despicable crimes alleged in the book”.

“It is shocking that in today’s climate, NB Publishers allowed for such an unsubstantiated book to be printed,” it added.


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