Apartheid-era 'paedophile ring' claim can be prosecuted‚ if evidence exists - NPA

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has said that if a docket with evidence linking former apartheid-era government ministers to a child sex ring is brought to them‚ they could prosecute the case.

"There is no statute of limitations on rape cases‚ so if there is evidence‚ including evidence from witnesses‚ and the case is prosecutable‚ then we will prosecute‚" NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaka told TimesLIVE.

On Sunday excerpts of a book‚ The Lost Boys of Bird Island‚ were published‚ alleging that members of former president PW Botha's cabinet‚ including former defence minister Magnus Malan and former environmental affairs minister John Wiley‚ were involved in child sex orgies‚ along with former police reservist and businessman Dave Allen.

Malan died in 2011‚ while Wiley and Allen died in the 1980s after allegedly committing suicide.

The new book alleges that the crimes took place on Bird Island‚ close to Port Elizabeth‚ during the 1980s.

Teenage boys were allegedly flown to the island by defence force helicopters on instruction of those behind the "paedophile sex ring". The boys were allegedly taken to the island under the guise of fishing expeditions.

The book alleges that at least one minister‚ who it claims was involved in the orgies‚ is still alive - although it does not name him.

Mfaka said given that there was no statute of limitations when it came to rape‚ they could still prosecute the case. "But this will depend on the evidence contained in the docket‚” he said. “Prosecutors would have to look at the evidence and ensure that all witnesses had been consulted with. If they are satisfied that there is a case to prosecute‚ then they would look at prosecuting it."

Dave Stewart‚ spokesman for FW de Klerk‚ who served on Botha's cabinet as education minister‚ said: "Naturally this is news to him and comes completely out of the blue. If he had known anything of this nature‚ he would have raised it."

Asked if de Klerk would cooperate with a prosecution if there was one‚ Stewart said de Klerk would cooperate with any "proper legal process".

"It is‚ however‚ too early to speculate on any of this - especially as these are just reports in a newspaper‚" he added.

Botha's former deputy minister of law and order‚ Roelf Meyer‚ said while he had seen the story he had no knowledge of the allegations. "I don’t know whether it is true or not and cannot comment on it‚" said Meyer.

Former foreign affairs minister Pik Botha and former finance minister Barend du Plessis could not be reached for comment.

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