Walking on Air

Paperback
John Matthews was a member of the South African Communist Party and was one of the activists prosecuted in the mini Rivonia Trial of 1964. He was charged under the Suppression of Communism Act and would have been sentenced for 3-5 years had he appealed, but out of solidarity with his fellow inmates, he served for 15 years in Pretoria's political prison instead. John worked mainly as a courier for Umkhonto we Sizwe but he was also involved in the production of explosives and he built the wooden platform on which the Freedom Charter was signed. While in prison, he became friendly with Jeremy Cronin, whose poem about him provides the title for this book, and other white activists like Bram Fischer.Written by John's oldest daughter, Colleen, the book traces the events leading up to John's arrest and deals with the consequences of John's incarceration, both for himself and his family. It is John's humility and integrity that shines through these pages. This book provides an important addition to struggle literature, showing how a modest man and his family endured terrible hardship with humour, resilience and a complete lack of pretension.