Academic, politician, political and anti-apartheid activist, political prisoner and MP. Leading member of the ANC, SACP and MK. Convicted of sabotage in 1964 and sentenced to twelve years’ imprisonment which he served on Robben Island. Helped to secretly transcribe Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, and smuggled it out of prison when he was released in 1976. Commanded Operation Vulindlela (Vula), an ANC underground operation to establish an internal underground leadership. Maharaj served on the secretariat of CODESA. Minister of transport, 1994–99. Envoy to President Jacob Zuma.