We were housed in individual cells on the one corridor. Each cell had a window looking out into the corridor and warders patrolled day and night, looking into your cell to observe what you are doing. Lights were on 24 hours a day.
Mac Maharaj was one of the prisoners trying to conceal his activities from the prison guards. He was working on the first draft of the autobiography of Nelson Mandela along with other ANC activists, Ahmed Kathrada, Walter Sisulu and of course the man who was later to become South Africa's first black president himself.
Mandela had to write every night and he wrote on average ten to 15 pages. He would give that material the next morning. It would circulate first to me to transcribe.
Where were you getting the paper from to be able to transcribe it?
This was stationery from our study material. We had the rare A4 size paper or lined paper. This is what he wrote on. And he wrote with very little reference material, he wrote by discussion. So the manuscript would circulate from me to Kathrada to Sisulu, and all those comments would come back to me. Mandela and I would avoid going to work, we would stay in undergrounds that we were ill. And we would spend our working time alone in the quadrangle discussing again what he has written. And the next night he would write another ten to 15 pages.