Mac Maharaja Biography
Mac Maharaj (Sathyandranath Ragunanan Maharaj) was born on 22nd April 1935 in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. He is a South African politician and a former Minister of Transport.
Mac Maharaj Education Background
He matriculated at St Oswald’s School and enrolled for a BA degree at the University of Natal, Durban, as a part time student.
Mac Maharaj Editorial Career
From 1955 to 1956 he edited the students newspaper, Student Call.Following the arrests of Congress leaders for the 1956 treason trial, Maharaj was asked to take over the running of the New Age newspaper.
Mac Maharaj Political Career
While Mac Maharaj was at the University he served on the Students’ Representative Council. He campaigned against the segregation of students and supported the boycott of the separate graduation ceremonies held at the time.
In 1960 following the Sharpeville massacre, the Congress movement asked him to return to South Africa and devote himself more fully to political work.
In July 1977 he was deployed by the ANC in Lusaka. In 1985 he was elected as the national executive committee at the Kabwe Conference.
From 1987 to 1990 he worked underground within South Africa, as part of Operation Vula. In 1990 when the ban on ANC and South African Communist Party was uplifted he had to leave the country and re-enter legally under an indemnity from prosecution, agreed to between the ANC and the government. On his return, he assisted in the organisation and restructuring of the SACP.
At the ANC’s national congress held in Durban during July 1991, Maharaj became a member of the secretariat of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa), which brought together most South African political organisations to negotiate a new constitution dispensation.
After the 1994 elections Maharaj was appointed to the cabinet where he served as Minister of Transport until the 1999 elections. Maharaj resigned from active politics in 1999.
Mac Maharaj Detention
In July 1964, he was arrested in Johannesburg, charged and convicted with four others on charges of sabotage in what became known as the Little Rivonia trial. Maharaj was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment, which he served on Robben Island.
On his release, Maharaj was served with a five-year banning order prohibiting him from leaving his Merebank, Durban, home at night.
Mac Maharaj Membership
- Member of Central Committee, African National Congress.
- Member of Political Bureau, African National Congress.
- Member of Management Committee, African National Congress.
- Member of Negotiations Committee, African National Congress.
- Trustee at Nelson Mandela Foundation.