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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Letter given to Mac

Undated, but written around 1993, while we lived in Observatory, aged 9 to 10).

(Copy supplied by Zarina Maharaj)

Dear Dad

It's very late at night, and I've been doing a lot of thinking. I believe it would be unjust for the feelings I'm feeling and the thoughts I'm thinking to go unsaid, Dad; In the struggle of life their are few people who are willing to live and die for what they believe. As a little child I felt as though you had left me, as though you had chosen 'work' over me, as though you didn't love me. But know I understand it was your love for your family and your people that gave you the strength and motivation to do what you did. And it was our love for you that gave you determination and we also gave you a little strength.

There are many that fought in the struggle for equality, many I have heard of and I admire, but there are few I know, love, admire and respect; and you are one of the few, but not only that you are also my father!! Daddy although I may have resented you for (what seemed in my eyes at the times as) leaving me I can only say now that it is an honner and an absolute pleasure to share my father with the rest of an entire nation.

You have given me something not many fathers can give to their daughters: PRIDE, a reason for me to go through each day with my head held high.

Thank you dad, Thank you Mac Maharaj, for God has not only given your family a gift but the whole world.

Dad I appreciat all you are and everything you have ever done more than words can express.

Deepest, Sincerest and eternal love

your daughter Joey xxx

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.