Rivonia Trial

Written by: Patrick Maitland

The courthouse of the treason trial
The cradle where the revolution grew
Prospered, and overthrew Apartheid

For Mandela, what memories are revived
By that television screen
Now in a safe warm home.
He is shown a trial not unlike his own

Eight white men caught plotting against the State
Attempting an armed revolution.
Their solution to change the course of history.

The police guarding the court
Heavily armed, determined to bring to naught
Any attempt of trouble.

A motley black crowd standing there
Jeering, chanting. as was their right.
Calling the prisoners racist because they were white 

How familiar it must have been.
Yet, now being on the other side
Do his brainwaves collide?
When he looked at their faces, did he see a clone
Making him condone what they had done

While the country listens and waits
Could he predict the future of these men.
Prison has been the university
From which he and other presidents have risen.

Who would have thought the Mandela
Convicted of terrorism
Could have risen to be
To be The Don Quixote Of Africa
Striving to right the wrongs
Of the continent to which he belongs

I am sure he could use his wisdom and power
To get these men to forgo terror
And work for peace with him.

Men with principles are hard to find.
Opponents can lead strength
If their principles are redefined
These men can change
If Mandela could rearrange their minds.