‘ANC needs real revolution inside the party to bring about renewal’

In an interview with AFPMac Maharaj, 87, warned that corruption was in danger of undermining the gains of democracy for which he had fought and for which he had suffered corruption.

“Everything shows that he lost touch with the ground,” Maharaj said under the control of the African National Congress (ANC).

He was one of the party ‘s leading figures, spending more than a decade in prison alongside Nelson Mandela.

Maharaj was very famous for Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom out of prison and joined Mandela’s cabinet after winning the first free elections on April 27, 1994.

But this year’s judicial inquiry set out an extensive network of humor and magic about former president Jacob Zuma, which has ruined even basic government services.

Maharaj also acted as Zuma’s spokesman but resigned in 2015, several years before his presidency was prematurely restricted due to the scandal that erupted.

“The country is facing a moment of amalgamation of multiple crises that are interfering with one major crisis,” Maharaj said, citing injury, poverty and unemployment.

Maharaj believes current President Cyril Ramaphosa is cracking down on corruption, though it’s too late for some.

“It makes real sense, under Cyril Ramaphosa, that he is not doing enough, fast enough,” Maharaj said.

“But I think Cyril was right in tackling these challenges of eradicating fraud, he never exceeded the limits of the law,” he said. “That slowed down the process.”

“I hear people say they want to prosecute more quickly, but we are dealing with an extremely complex fraud,” he said.

The judicial inquiry significantly blamed Gupta’s Indian family, accused of widespread bribery, and Bain’s American consultancy, who was forced to reclaim some of his work and repay his fees.

The international nature of corruption makes prosecution difficult, Maharaj said.

The inquiry also cited senior members of the ANC, whose only fight is deeper within a party with which voters are more uneasy.

ALSO READ: Independence Day: Corruption is one of the main reasons for not being truly free – IJR

‘Many mistakes’

“We have made many mistakes, and we have moved the country forward in many ways too,” he said, sitting in front of a bookshelf at a supermarket he shares with his older sister and son. , on the northern outskirts of Johannesburg.

“We have accumulated vast experience, but we are not learning from those mistakes,” Maharaj said.

During the struggle, Maharaj led an underground operation of the ANC. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison with Mandela in the prestigious Robben Island prison.

After Mandela was elected president on April 27, 1994, Maharaj joined the cabinet as minister of transport. A picture of the two men was hung together next to a bookshelf showing some of the books he had written or edited.

Recently the ANC has been preaching on self – cleansing and renewal, but according to Maharaj, “what renewal is” has not yet been determined.

It needs “a real revolution within the party to renew”.

Maharaj recently co – authored a book entitled Heads: The Struggles and Secret Talks That brought Apartheid South Africa to the Negotiating Table.

The book reveals complex details about the jostling for a position that occurred before the start of the formal talks that saw the country transition to democracy.

Maharaj played a key role in keeping those negotiations on track.

He joined the struggle as a student, was arrested in June 1964, charged with five others at the infamous Rivonia Trial on 177 sabotage counts. He smuggled Mandela’s memorial out of prison when he was released in 1976.

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