Born in 1936 Graham fought for human rights from all angles. He saw himself as a white man in Africa, here to set right the wrongs of his tribal line. Graham shared a deep spirituality with the ancestral heritage of the African continent. He found no greater enemy than the apartheid government of South Africa's cruel foreign invasion. In this period 1952 – 1974 he was a hunted man and spent most of his time labeled a notorious criminal and incarcerated, where he was starved and tortured. He fled South Africa in 1969 by foot in a futile attempt to join the P.A.C. in Tanzania. In 1975 he married Jenny Clark. Jenny had polio as a child and is 95% physically disabled. Graham was never involved in any political party and fought for freedom, justice and equality from the unwavering truths of his heart.
Graham felt Africa very strongly. He lived by the principles of uBuntu, patience and faith in the Almighty, which he called the great Architect of Africa. He was labelled a criminal and wanted dead or alive by the apartheid government. He suffered more than 27 years in jail with torture and brutality at the hands of the so-called “master race.” His life journey paints a picture of a history from the other side that is so daring that it provides the light of love to witness the devastating impact politics has had on South Africa.
"Everyone I know who has read the book says they couldn't put it down. It is a story that needs to be told. We need to remember. And the power is in the aboslute honesty. It comes straight from the heart." Carol Buchan
“The real fight today is against inhuman, relentless exercise of capitalistic power. The present struggle is for social and industrial justice. The same foreign powers that supported the Nationalist government are the same sources behind much of the skullduggery.” Graham Michael Lesch
Graham saw the political situation of South Africa not change. He had seen truth, reconciliation and justice and any other noble ideas of transformation as mere shadows, and in fact illusions.This book is written so that history is not distorted.
The humour of the story-telling The co-writing of the story In 2006 Graham Michael Lesch / aka Dennis Strydom gave myself, the writer, his original manuscript of Shadows of Justice. It was hilarious, racy and honest as he dodged both prison and racist mentality with art-fulness and humour. From his tantrum on the prison roof, to injecting cocaine to tolerate the brutal lashes, his epic escape from South Africa on foot and escaping the cycles of abuse by swallowing his Pentonville bed springs, this was an entertaining account told by a man who knew who he was.
I was a young music journalist with no experience of history or politics. Graham said he did not mind, but would take me out of the music industry to do his book and when he was finished I would return, but in a different capacity. This turned out true. Graham was living on borrowed time. After six months of ghost-writing the story, on December 16th 2006, a first draft of the manuscript was presented. Dennis was happy, his life's work was complete. He shined with a kind of inner peace and humour. Shortly afterwards, Dennis fell in the house and died. He died on February 1st 2007. His family and friends held a wonderful memorial service for him in the Durban Botanic Gardens.