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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
Robben Island: prerelease assessment
SATHYANDRANATH RAGUNAN MAHARAJ
(a) D E T A I L S
ADVICE No. : 1/5868
SERIES No. : 1846
AGE : 41 Years
HIGHEST ACADEMIC QUALIFICATION : B.A. + B. ADMIN
PLACE: Supreme Court Johannesburg
SENTENCE: 12 years imprisonment
DATE OF RELEASE: 17 DECEMBER 1976
(b) B A C K G R O U N D
The abovementioned, together with four (4) others, was charged with sabotage (actual). Conspired to commit sabotage; transgression of Act 8/63 in that they received and paid out money to a company contrary to certain laws of the country and are also charged that they belong to a banned organization. They blew up post offices, The Fort, and railway lines and were in possession of explosives, weapons and ammunition.
He was born in Newcastle and received a good upbringing and university education. He actively participated in sabotage, is an acknowledged commissar, and has visited countries behind the iron curtain for training.
(c) P E R S O N A L C O N D U C T
He is one of the leaders group and is kept in the single section. During 1972, he tried to persuade a guard to obtain a Regulations Book for him without seeking permission for this by going through the correct channels. During 1973 he tried to convince a guard to let him have a newspaper while he was in Cape Town undergoing medical treatment. On 17 January 1974, he defied a lawful order and was sentenced to 5 day's solitary confinement as well as dietary punishment. (It is a copy of this charge sheet that later appeared in the publication "Sechaba".) On 27 April 1975, he was also involved in an incident with Sergeant Swart and Warder Denton. During recent counseling in January 1975, he was rude and wanted to walk out when he was questioned about his present attitude towards his crime. His conduct is generally poor.
(d) A C T I V I T I E S I N S I D E P R I S O N
The prisoner has, since his incarceration in prison, obtained a B.A degree from the University of London. He is also a registered student for an LLB degree. He is exceptionally intelligent and has already a B. Admin degree that he achieved while he was a prisoner. He is currently reading for a B.Sc degree and is registered this year for Mathematics II, Mathematical Statistics II and Applied Mathematics IB. He currently serves as shoemaker in the single section.
(e) G E N E R A L
He writes regularly and regularly receives letters. Since his incarceration to date he has received the following visitors:
Date of Visit Visitor Relationship
09.10.65 S. Maharaj Brother
16.01.66 O. Maharaj Wife
17.04.66 T. Maharaj Wife
10.07.66 T. Maharaj Wife
16.10.66 O. Maharaj Wife
14.01.67 O. Maharaj Wife
15.04.67 S. Maharaj Brother
24.06.67 O. Maharaj Wife
13.01.68 O. Maharaj Wife
27.07.68 O. Maharaj Wife
04.01.69 J. Singh Wife's brother's brother in law
29.03.69 O. Maharaj Wife
18.05.69 M. Naidoo Wife's family with whom he
29.11.69 O. Maharaj Wife and
A. Suminthra Mother
21.06.70 O. Maharaj Wife
28.11.70 O. Maharaj Wife
05.12.70 O. Maharaj Wife
28.08.71 O. Maharaj Wife and
S. Maharaj Mother
01.07.72 O. Maharaj Wife
22.09.73 O. Maharaj Wife
25.12.73 S. Maharaj Mother and
A. Maharaj Niece/cousin
29.12.73 V. Maharaj Nephew/cousin
05.01.74 S. Maharaj Mother and
A. Maharaj Niece/cousin
14.12.74 S. Maharaj Mother and
O. Maharaj Wife
17.05.75 G. Maharaj Brother
Prisoner Maharaj has only one eye (his left eye was removed) and is undergoing on-going medical treatment for a neck injury. His attitude is to do as little as possible and to incur as much medical expenses for the state as he possiblt can. His medical record in this respect speaks for itself.
He does not believe in religion or a Creator – he believes in the Theory of Evolution of Charles Darwin and says that everything has already been scientifically proven.
(f) S U M M A R Y
The prisoner will not easily abandon his principles and ideals. The period that he has been in prison has only fuelled his hatred for the government. He is not well disposed to the Government's policy and perseveres with his opinions.
He ties himself irrevocably to his crime and will never change his opinion. He associates with other leaders outside in his beliefs and is also linked to left wingers. For example, the charge sheet against him during a disciplinary hearing appeared in the magazine "Sechaba". This magazine is the mouth piece of the A.N.C. abroad.
(g) C O N C L U S I O N S
This man will create whatever problems he can for the government. He will need to be under strict supervision upon his release. He poses a great potential danger to the peace and safety of the country after his release.