Veteran Peacemakers O'Malley, Maharaj on Iraq

Mac Maharaj

Satyandranath Ragunanan "Mac" Maharaj stepped down as South Africa's transport minister when Thabo Mbeki replaced Nelson Mandela as president. African National Congress hide caption

itoggle caption African National Congress
Padraig O'Malley

Padraig O'Malley has aided peace negotiations in Northern Ireland, South Africa and most recently, Iraq. Seppo Samuli/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Seppo Samuli/AFP/Getty Images

Political activist Mac Maharaj fought apartheid with Nelson Mandela, and spent four months in the South African prison on Robben Island.

Padraig O'Malley is a veteran peace negotiator who wrote a book about Maharaj, and who worked to help settle the conflicts in both South Africa and Northern Ireland.

Now the two are trying to help Iraq's rival factions bridge their differences and build a future for their country.

Maharaj, once charged with terrorism by his country's apartheid-era government, went on to be democratic South Africa's first Minister of Transport. O'Malley, who has written widely about the conflicts in South Africa and Northern Ireland, told Maharaj's story in Shades of Difference: Mac Maharaj and the Struggle for South Africa.

Both men participated in closed-door negotiations last year in Helsinki, Finland, where Sunni and Shiite representatives met to discuss a way forward.

Books Featured In This Story

Shades of Difference

Mac Maharaj And the Struggle for South Africa

by Padraig O'Malley

Hardcover, 648 pages | purchase

Purchase Featured Book

Title
Shades of Difference
Subtitle
Mac Maharaj And the Struggle for South Africa
Author
Padraig O'Malley

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.