THE FIFTH COLUMN
Congratulations to the newly elected Eastern Cape ANC conference regional chairperson. We trust that you will lead from the front, with a chair hoisted high above your head to inspire, motivate and train your constituents in the fine art of chair throwing — a sport fast gaining traction across our glorious country.
We have absolute faith that you will maintain, at all times, immense upper body strength and hone, in your own time, the ability to hurl a piece of furniture across a municipal hall of reasonable size. We see fire in you, young Turk, fuelling the pistons of anarchy towards total destruction of property and amenities hired for the sole purpose of plastic warfare.
For maximum efficiency, we urge you to fulfil your mandate, set in stone, to split the ruling party into squabbling factions and reduce it to a mathematical fraction of its former self, with furniture moulded from cheap polymers and a deviation from meticulously designed pieces by celebrated designers Gio Ponti and Charlotte Perriand, to keep costs down and maintain the low-key character of our conferences.
We trust you know that, shortly after commencing your work as chair, you will relinquish your own chair (as a projectile to make a so-so point) and remain standing for the duration of your term. There will be no time to take a breather, have a KitKat or pop a chill pill.
The position as regional ANC chairperson, full-time and of the top variety, requires a killer instinct and a taste for blood, together with grit, determination and a medical health scheme (not included in your package) that boasts a hospital plan and partial coverage for psychiatric care in the event of post-traumatic stress disorder, noticeably affecting work performance or triggering a catastrophic slide towards diplomacy.
For fine examples of how to transform a chair into a weapon of persuasion, you need look no further than the football hoodlums, both locally and abroad, genetically adept and dispositioned to rip a plastic seat of fair quality bolted to a stadium from its anchors and hurl it at the opposition, accompanied by insults and vulgarities appropriate to the occasion.
As our intrepid newly elected chairperson, you can learn much from these outdoor displays of macabre protest and, we hope, be able to duplicate, or even improve upon, their devastating effects in the confines of a conference hall.
Go forth and lead, young lion! You have the best seat in the house. As summer approaches, so does festival season and the opportunity to take the show on the road, so to speak, and host a chair festival of note — a musical chair extravaganza — at the ANC’s 54th national convention.
There will be many chairs there to pick up and throw for fun and games; God knows, every conference has its dull moments. More pertinently, bring a delegate around to your point of view with an aggressive rearranging of the furniture or, worst-case scenario, with a blow to the head. But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
Either way, through resourceful spontaneity, you have us all on the edge of our seats.