Mac Maharaj

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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 in Vermont, USA.

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."


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