Van der Post a downright liar

London - Famous South African author Sir Laurens van der Post was a downright "liar and a cruel sexual predator" with little regard for his victims and their fate.

One of them was only 14 years old when he seduced her and she later had his baby. Another was a student at the University of Cape Town, he and his second wife "took mercy" on.

He was 78 when he seduced her at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town where he asked her to "comfort" him by lying next to him on his bed. Afterwards she felt as if being "raped".

These two, as is the case with all his other mistresses, were left in the lurch.

These are among the allegations made in Van der Post's official biography, The Many Lives of Laurens van der Post to be published at the end of September.

In the biography author J D F Jones "exposes" Van der Post, as instead of a "war hero and wise man of the African wilderness" as a "compulsive wishful thinker" and a "master liar" whose accounts about himself are "untrue, embellished, exaggerated and distorted".

Jones on Sunday, in the first part of an exclusive series on the biography in the British newspaper The Daily Mail, said Prince Charles had consulted the "Prince's Guru" (as Van der Post was called as a result of his friendship with the prince) in the 1980s about his tottering marriage to Princess Diana and his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowels. "Van der Post, as a married man, found nothing wrong in having love affairs, telling everybody except his wife about them. One wonders what kind of advice he gave Charles?"

In Sunday's excerpt it is related how Van der Post (well in his forties) had seduced Bonny Kohler-Baker when she was only 14 years old. Five years earlier, her older sister, Jessie (then 17) had fallen blindly in love with him on a voyage between South Africa and England.

Bonny believed she loved him, particularly when he told her it's "not sex but love". When she fell pregnant she never heard from him again.

His first wife, Marjorie, had no inkling of his love life. He left her and their children on their own for long periods.

His second wife, Ingaret, he also met on a voyage while she was still married.

As a Cape Times reporter he also seduced the wife of a lawyer. Their passionate affair of two weeks started when he knocked on her hotel room door while already stripping his clothes from his body.

The biography also says the stories of Van der Post, who had been an advisor to Baroness Margaret Thatcher during her time as British prime minister, over his San minder, knowledge of Japan and the Japanese language, friendship with Lord Mountbatten, war experiences and his role in the Rhodesian settlement of 1989 were all lies.

  • The Many Lives of Laurens van der Post by J D F Jones, published by John Murray is set to be released on September 27.
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