A Call To Order!

2016-10-31 13:15

I imagine that they meet in a disused church hall. The location is somewhere on the East Rand. But no one can be certain as to what the coordinates are. It might be Boksburg or Benoni, some cautioning that it might actually be Brakpan.

Not that it matters.

The room echoes when they enter it. The flimsy white plastic chairs seem lost, randomly placed in the centre of the room and do little to absorb the sound. The seating has been hastily assembled in some sort of semi circle and although the group is growing, one never knows who will attend the gathering. A sad pile of unassembled seats hovers nearby in case their usage is required.

It’s not a happy place.

Click-clack, click-clack, click-clack. Scrape. Sigh. And then finally, muffled greetings. No one wants to be here.

That is clear.

Least of all the group's newest addition. A man who appears to be somewhat dazed and deflated.

A call to order.

And so begins the quarterly meeting of the President Zuma’s Used and Abused Anonymous (ZAA) who today welcomes its newest member, Shaun Abrahams.

This weekend’s Chair (it rotates very quickly) Des Van Rooyen welcomes Abrahams who on Monday the 31st of October called a press conference to say that he had played a very bad hand of poker. He told the world that he had gone “all in” betting his entire reputation and career on a pair of Jokers. And then on realizing that the Minister of Finance held the winning hand, he had publicly folded in front of the entire nation. Calls for his resignation still echo through this mind with the somber hall (somewhere in the East Rand) offering a surprisingly welcome refuge.

Van Rooyen, I imagine, then gets on with the business of the day.

First on the Agenda is a point raised by the guy who operated Waterkloof Airbase during the Al Bashir incident (he prefers not to be named). He is worried about the SABC. And he is not alone in being concerned that when Hlaudi (as he is known to the group) becomes a member of the ZAA that he will not accept the rules of the club. “He has gone in too deep!” worries Ntlemeza (Head of the Hawks) forgetting for a moment that there are those who believe that his membership is somewhat premature. Much like the ANC Women’s league whose missions statement “Stand by your Man!” makes them set to fill the hall (all 3 of them) when they take a break from selling fellow women down the drain (a woman’s work is never done, they sigh collectively).

“You think that’s bad” worries Police Minister Nathi Nhleko (a founding member of the group), can you imagine when the SAA Chairwoman gets here… try giving her sensible advice!”

And so it goes on….

I imagine at this point that Shaun Abrahams, fresh from his press conference, takes it all in but hears none of it. Because all he must be wondering, is what on earth possessed him to follow a man who is no leader at all.

He must think of the journey that ended with him being welcomed into a club that no one wants to be part of and where indeed he goes from here. I imagine that his eyes fill with moisture when he thinks of all those he has let down.

I imagine he thinks of all that brought him into the club, and mostly, why he wasn’t able to be the person he had the potential to be.

I can picture the meeting ending with the members leaving quickly as they had entered. With a click- clack and with a promise of a fuller hall next time. Somewhere on the East Rand.

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