Sathyandranath Ragunanan "Mac" Maharaj
(born 22 April 1935 in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal
, South Africa) is a South African politician affiliated to the African National Congress
, academic and businessman of Indian origin
Maharaj was a political activist and member of the South African Communist Party
, who worked closely on anti-apartheid
activities with Nelson Mandela
, with whom he was incarcerated following the Little Rivonia Trial
on Robben Island
. In prison he secretly transcribed Mandela's memoir Long Walk to Freedom
and smuggled it out of the prison in 1976.
From 1988 to 1990 he commanded Operation Vula
, an underground program of armed resistance. In this high profile and controversial trial, his fellow accused were Pravin Gordhan
, Billy Nair
, Siphiwe Nyanda
, Dipak Teps Patel
, Dipuo Mvelase and three others.
He was democratic South Africa's first Minister of Transport
, a post he took on 11 May 1994 and kept until 1999.
In 2005 he joined the faculty of Bennington College
On 6 July 2011 he was appointed by President Jacob Zuma
as his Spokesperson with immediate effect.
- "You don't have to carry a gun to be a freedom fighter."
- "Revenge should not be our motivation."