Summary

"The worldwide movement to force South Africa to abandon apartheid and secure the right to vote for black South Africans was one of the great moral crusades of the latter part of the twentieth century. This is the inside story of the war black South Africa waged to destroy the apartheid state, told through the voice of its most unsung hero." "A South African of Indian descent, Mac Maharaj was a powerhouse in the South African Communist Party and African National Congress for nearly four decades. He was brutally tortured by South Africa's notorious security forces and served twelve years on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela. Upon his release he smuggled out a copy of Mandela's autobiography that he had painstakingly miniaturized. He escaped South Africa and made his way to Lusaka, Zambia, where he soon became a pivotal player in the leadership of the liberation movement." "Drawing on extensive interviews with Maharaj over the last eleven years, Padraig O'Malley captures the essence of Mac - a proud, prickly, opinionated man whose bravery, dedication, and intelligence were crucial to the ANC's success. By telling Maharaj's story and drawing on hitherto unavailable documentation, O'Malley sheds new light on the decades long battle against apartheid as well as the ongoing struggle to build a more democratic South Africa, a struggle being undermined by destructive infighting among former comrades intent on grasping power even though their actions debase the principles that once set the ANC apart as a liberation movement."--BOOK JACKET.


The inside story of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, told through the experiences of one of its unsung heroes, with an introduction by Nelson Mandela

A South African of Indian descent, Mac Maharaj was a potent force in the Communist Party and African National Congress for nearly four decades. Tortured by South African security forces, he served twelve years in prison with Nelson Mandela and was able to smuggle out a painstakingly miniaturized copy of Mandela’s autobiography. He continued to play a key role in the movement and participated in the negotiations that ultimately led to a free South Africa in 1994. In Mandela’s new government, he served as minister of transport. Drawing on extensive interviews with Maharaj over the last eleven years, Padraig O’Malley vividly captures the experiences of this South African freedom fighter. By telling Maharaj’s story, O’Malley sheds new light on the decades-long battle against apartheid as well as the more recent struggle to build a free South Africa.