Marianne Thamm: Daily Maverick
Questions and Answers

This email was sent to the Investigator Wouter de Swardt by
Marianne Thamm on 15/04/2019 at 14h29.

No changes were made to the original email. Just the answers were added.

Good day Mr De Swart

Marianne Thamm here from the Daily Maverick. I am following up on the Boys of Bird Island Saga now that the book has been withdrawn and the publishers have offered apologies to former minister Barend Du Plessis who stepped forward after its publication.

I am trying to unravel events from as far back as 1987 until now. As you will be aware I was approached to write the foreword for the book and did, during the writing of it, meet with Mr Minnie as well as Ms Steyn

I just wanted to ask you a few questions as well as clear up some matters with regard to your involvement in the above matter.

1) How did you come to be contracted by the Minnie family and the Human Rights Foundation?


I was never appointed or contracted by the Minnie family. The Foundation for Human Rights appointed the world-famous forensic scientist, Dr. David Klatzow, to investigate the cause of the death of Minnie and the paedophilia allegations. Dr. Klatzow recommended me to the FHR to do the actual investigations itself, because that is not what he does. I was dually appointed telephonically by Advocate Varney who represented the FHR to do the investigation. I just want to pause for a moment on the family, I stress and I will keep on stressing this, I was not employed by the family of Mark Minnie. I was employed by the of FHR. Mrs. Jasmine Soofa, the Director of the FHR, herself said that the FHR is acting in the interest of the so-called ‘Lost Boys’.

2) What were the terms of that contract?


There was never any contract presented or signed. The appointment was done verbally per telephone and the instructions were very simple: Investigate the cause of Mark Minnie’s Death because the allegation made by Chris Steyn was that he was assassinated. This I Forensically proved as completely false. Mark Minnie committed suicide. I was also instructed to see if I can find any evidence of the alleged paedophilia ring that the ministers allegedly were involved with. No evidence was found. I have to point out that in more than 30 years of investigation including nearly two years of investigation by top police detectives from Cape Town, neither no evidence nor victims has been found.

3) Are you aware that the Human Rights Foundation have reported you to the Private Security regulation authority with regard to your alleged leaking of your report to a journalist as well as providing a cloned copy of Mr Minnie's computer, which you obtained as a result of your mandate from the family and the foundation without seeking permission to do so, to third or even fourth parties?


Yes, I am very aware that the Foundation for Human Rights laid a complaint against me at PSiRA. For that reason, a senior inspector from PSiRA visited my offices in November 2019 and did a full audit on my personal registration and my business registration and the workings of myself and my company. Everything was in order. The Inspector also questioned me very thoroughly about the investigation and my reasons for speaking to the media. He could not find anything wrong. The matter was closed.
Your question three is actually a two-part question. The allegation was and the reason that they reported me was that I leaked the report to the media. Ms. Thamm I did not leak the report to the media. The report was leaked by someone else who is known to me, but whose name I will not mention, to Jacques Pauw. Jacques Pauw said so himself. I suggest you speak to him and ask him who leaked the report.
The second part of your question three is that I made another clone of Mark Minnie’s computer, this is false and yet another allegation to put me in a bad light and attack my integrity. I made one copy, a clone, of the computer which I handed to advocate Varney personally. I did not make another copy. Jacques Pauw got a hold of far more information from the computer (the same information I gained from it but did not include in my report) and this happened because on his return to South Africa from China Mark Minnie’s son, who also worked and lived in China till then, handed that computer over to a family friend. That friend made copies, sent emails out and tried to sell information to the media, including Jacques Pauw, but Jacques Pauw does not buy information. He did get it eventually though. I suggest you ask Markus Minnie who he gave that laptop to.

4) Part of the complaint relates to your disclosure to a journalist of information you obtained in the process of your investigation and by your physical possession of Mr Minnie's computer. Did you seek the consent of your clients at the time to disclose this confidential information?


I did not give any information to the media or gave interviews or new information to the media that was not already public knowledge. I did not ‘’leak’’ my report to the media. I repeat: it was leaked to Jacques Pauw and HE release it to the media. By the time I started talking to the media, reacting to questions and being asked to comment, all that information was already public knowledge. I didn’t need permission I was just commenting on info that was already public knowledge and reported on in the media. A LOT was said to the media by Chris Steyn. She made and allegations against me in an obvious attempt by her to discredit my report and attack my credibility. That is what prompted me to talk to the media.

5) Are you able to comment on the allegation by the family and the foundation that you prepared a second report in February 2019 and that you did not supply this to your clients but instead released it to the media.?


Regarding the second report I did not release a second report to whoever, that report was released in February this year and it was released to the media. It is a reaction to a lot of questions and allegations that was put in the media, and mainly by Chris Steyn herself. That was a response and answers to questions from the media and allegations from Chris Steyn, it wasn’t so much as a “report” and of course I’m aware of it I wrote it.

6) If so, what was your motive in this instance?


I explained the reason in question five’s answer. I had no motive, the reason for the “report” was to answer questions and explain things that the media asked me about, and disprove\ the allegations that Chris Steyn made.

7) Are you able to confirm that at present you are employed or were employed in the past by Mr Barend Du Plessis?


I work in close conjunction with Barend du Plessis and Johan Victor and Dr. Koos van der Merwe in a very serious effort to clear the three ministers' names. Obviously, more specifically, that of Barend du Plessis because he is still alive. Employed? - no, I am not being paid. I work pro-bono so if I don’t get paid, I am happy with that. I am doing this for justice because Ms. Thamm, whether you like it or not, a great injustice was done to the legacy of Barend du Plessis and that of the other two ministers. It needs to be corrected.

8) Can you confirm that you stated in your report you could not find any concrete evidence as to the involvement of high-ranking National Party ministers?


Yes, I most definitely confirm that I could not find any evidence that pointed towards any National Party members being involved in this disgusting crime of paedophilia and to this day there is still no shred of evidence that thoseimplicate or connect any one of them with the those hideous crimes.

9) Were you aware at the outset that the publishers and Mr Minnie had stated upfront that the docket he had complied with regard to the original Bird Island Case had been removed from his office and that as a result of this it would stand to reason that there would be no evidence. The publishers and the authors never claimed there was any concrete evidence?


Ms. Thamm, the publishers and the authors claimed time and time again that they have the evidence, the proof, the witnesses, the victims and the sources to prove that their twisted story is true. Where are all these witnesses and victims now? Where is the evidence? When are you going to accept that the docket that he was talking about, that purportedly got removed from his office, never existed? It was another figment of Mark Minnie’s sick mind.
This fact is proven by the sworn statement from advocate John Scott. Go and read it; the docket never existed. There was no investigation into paedophilia at that stage. The only docket was that of the arrest of Dave Allen for possession of pornography. Nothing else.

10) Are you aware of three stories which appeared in Rapport in August 2018 in which journalists Herman Jansen and then later Erika Gibson and Dawie Boonzaaier confirmed that former State President PW Botha ordered the removal of the docket from Mr Minnie's office?


Yes, I am aware of the stories. The whole country is aware of the stories. It is also well-known that Mark Minnie fed Herman Jansen stories and information, and Herman Jansen, just like Dawie Boonzaaier and Erica Gibson and pretty much every reporter in the country simply believed him and Chris Steyn, as did you - sadly. No one checked whether it was the truth; no one asked for the evidence; no one did due diligence. President Botha did not order such a removal of a docket for the simple reason: such docket didn’t exist.

11) Did you or anyone in your presence offer one of the key witnesses money during your investigation?


No, neither I nor anyone in my presence at any stage offered the key witnesses money during the investigation. You are very clearly and slyly here referring to the person known as William Hart in the book. We now all know his real name is Thomas Case. During the course of many months I have helped Tommy with food and at one stage even clothing purely from a humanitarian point of view. The man is living on the streets. I helped him from a humanitarian point of view. I never offered him money. What I do know, and this is what he himself told me, is that Mark Minnie offered him money and Chris Steyn promised him money and he said there were other people from the media who offered him money too but he didn’t mention names. Months after the release of the book Tommy Case tried to swindle money out of me – threatening to retract his statements if he doesn’t get money. I refused flatly and reported it to Johan Victor – the lawyer. Case also tried contacting Maryna Lamprecht but this time around she wisely ignored the request and reported it to her lawyer.

12) Did you provide any financial inducement to anyone in order for them to retract statements made to Mr Minnie and Ms Steyn?


Here again you are obviously referring to William Hart a.k.a. Thomas Case. I have already answered to that above under your question 11.

13) Can you confirm that you stated that you found “no doubt that a paedophile ring of which Mr Dave Allen was the head” existed in Port Elizabeth in the 1980s?


Yes, I stated in my only report to the Foundation for Human Rights, that there is no doubt that a paedophile ring was indeed in operation during the time of the mid-eighties and to date. My statement that Dave Allen was the head of such a ring at that time was based mainly on what Chris Steyn told me. This has since been proven to be wrong and false. I was wrong in making that statement. Dave Allen was not involved in paedophilia because Dave Allen was not a paedophile. Dave Allen was a gay man who preferred younger guys between the ages of 15 and 18. That does not make him a paedophile, although of course in the eyes of the law that is considered as illegal, there can be no doubt about that.

14) Are you aware that the SAPS are conducting an ongoing investigation and have obtained statements from witnesses who have since come forward?


Yes, Ms. Thamm, I am aware that SAPS is conducting an ongoing investigation. Everybody is aware of that. I am also aware that now, nearly two years after an investigation by a high-ranking detectives under direct command of Major-General. Veary, have not found a single witness or concrete evidence to implicate any of the three ministers. Your statement that ...they have obtained statements from witnesses who have since come forward… Really, Ms. Thamm, if that were to be true where are they? Why are the police not acting on that? I can only assume that this is what you have been told by Chris Steyn. Just yet another of her unfounded allegations in another feeble attempt to vindicate herself.

15) Are you related in any way to Blackie Swart former Section C Vlakplaas member?


Ms. Thamm, I take great exception to your question about whether I am related to a former Vlakplaas member named Blackie Swart. This has been tried and suggested before by Chris Steyn, and I think for both of you it is disgusting to do that. It is a cheap shot. You might have noticed that my surname is De Swardt, it is spelled DE SWARDT. It is TWO words with a ‘’DT’’ at the end. The person you name is a Blackie Swart. That is spelled SWART. They are two completely different surnames – so how can I be related? This sly question is obviously aimed at trying to connect my brother and I, the retired Major-General Johan de Swardt, to Vlakplaas or any other murder squad, just as Chris Steyn is so desperately trying to do. My brother, Major-General De Swardt, was the founder and first Commander of the Police’s Special Task Force, who served the country and the police with distinction. That unit is still in existence today and serve with distinction. They were not disbanded like the Vlakplaas and CCB (Civil Cooperation Bureau) units because they did not do the disgusting deeds that you are trying to connect us with. This is just yet another feeble and desperate attempt from yourself, and Steyn, to discredit me and attack my integrity.
Ironically, of course, we all know that Chris Steyn herself is actually married to an ex-commander of the CCB, who was committing exactly the things that you are trying to link my brother and I to. They were political murderers and assassins. Just like the monsters of Vlakplaas. I am sure you know both units’ history and terrible record very well.

I look forward to your reply. You have 24 hours but if you need more time let me know.


Marianne Thamm