Book Extract

At the mercy of the enemy: ANC spy Moe Shaik's ordeal in detention

Moe Shaik, a former MK operative and intelligence boss, was detained by apartheid security police when he was a young underground cadre. In The ANC Spy Bible he tells of the horror of being at the mercy of the enemy, but also describes unexpected acts of compassion

23 February 2020 - 00:00 By Moe Shaik

I soon forgot what I looked like. My only image was reflected in the distorting waters of the urinal. I forgot the sound of my voice as the silent months went by. My cell and its emptiness and the voices in my head were the only testimony to the fact that I was alive.

I developed an acute sense of smell and hearing. I could smell the deodorant — or lack of it — of the different police officers and prisoners as they passed my cell. I could smell food long before it was brought to me. I could hear the jangle of keys and the footsteps of those who walked the corridors. I would spend hours each day rocking from side to side. It was the only movement that gave me comfort. Withdrawing into myself afforded me a sense of stillness...

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