Shades of Difference
When the biography 'Shades of Difference: Mac Maharaj and the Struggle for South Africa' by historian and scholar Professor Padraig O'Malley of the University of Massachusetts (Boston. USA) was published in 2007 by Penguin, it received rave reviews both in the United States and South Africa - as might be expected of a book for which Nelson Mandela had penned a substantial foreword.
In the decade after 1999, when President Mandela had given up the presidency and President Mbeki had succeeded him, the political climate against Mac Maharaj had become virulently poisoned by malicious rumours against him spread under Mbeki's administration.

President Mandela's views relevant to this are aired in his foreword to O'Malley's biography, a foreword he ends with the words "I respect Mac, and I love him. I call him Ngquphephe, after a one-eyed hero in a Xhosa folktale."

Professor O'Malley's 'Heart of Hope' website, maintained by The Centre for Memory of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, recounts in detail this political persecution of the Maharaj family.

The bitter hostility of President Thabo Mbeki towards Mac Maharaj, analysed in Professor O'Malley's book, is also referred to in Dancing to a Different Rhythm by Zarina Maharaj, as going back to long before Mbeki became the President to succeed Mandela.

This hostility was openly expressed when President, Mbeki appointed the Hefer Commission in 2003 to investigate Mac, a commission whose terms of reference he changed three times as it proceeded with its work, reflecting his uncertainty of what Mac was to be investigated for.