Media24 has apologised for the publication of defamatory statements regarding Mr Barend Du Plessis in the books “The Lost Boys of Bird Island” and “Die Seuns Van Bird Island” and for the emotional harm that the publication of the books may have caused the Malan and Wiley families.
Media24 het verskoning aangebied vir die publikasie van lasterlike stellings aangaande Mnr Barend du Plessis in die boeke “The Lost Boys of Bird Island” en “Die Seuns van Bird Island” asook die emosionele skade wat die publikasie van die boeke vir die Malan- en Wiley-families kon veroorsaak het.
Press Release – 3 March 2020
In the book The Lost Boys of Bird Island and its translated version, Die seuns van Bird Island, statements are made which may suggest that Mr Barend du Plessis, though not mentioned by name, might have been involved in the sexual abuse of underaged boys. While attempts were made to conceal his identity, NB Publishers accepts that the books contain sufficient information to identify Mr Du Plessis as an involved party.
The contested statements could not be verified independently.
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.
NB Publishers has withdrawn unsold copies of both the Afrikaans and English editions of the book from bookshops and the e-book has been removed from online e-trade platforms.
Press Release – 17 April 2020
After weighing up a number of factors, NB Publishers decided to withdraw the book The Lost Boys of Bird Island and its translated version, Die seuns van Bird Island from circulation in both print and digital formats. Furthermore, the book will not be reprinted. NB regrets and sincerely apologises for the emotional harm that the publication of the book may have caused the Malan and Wiley families.
Press Release – 28 April 2020
Ishmet Davidson, as CEO and on behalf of Media24, extends an unreserved and sincere apology to Barend du Plessis and his family as well as to the Malan and Wiley families for the harm caused by the allegations contained in the book The Lost Boys of Bird Island.
Media24 acknowledges that these allegations are unfounded and the book itself has already been withdrawn from trade – both in digital and print formats.
A settlement offer of R3 000 000 is extended to Barend du Plessis as compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the allegations in question.