Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
There are several lexical meanings of the word whip, but for our purpose only two invite attention.
Perhaps even more commonly used is the word sjambok which, according to the Collins English Dictionary and Thesaurus, is a heavy whip of rhinoceros and hippopotamus hide used for driving animals or for corporal punishment.
Second and more significantly, whip has a political definition.
A whip is described as a member of a party chosen to organise and discipline the members of his faction. A party manager in a legislative body who ensures attendance for voting and who directs other members.
Undoubtedly, I need not explain why I assume many readers of this column will identify more with sjambok than whip. Well, doesn't sjambok conjure up pictures of pain faster than whip does?
So here follows a tale of two sjamboks who lived in a country called Gonzonia.
You may call them chief whips, if you like.
"Gonzo" is slang for deranged, non compos mentis, crazy, or simply mad.
We will refer to the Gonzonians as Gonzoids because of their collective robotic behaviour. And you won't be wrong if you describe Gonzonia as the land of the crazy ones.
Resemblance to any country or individual is purely coincidental and therefore regretted.
Gonzonia may be anywhere in the world and not necessarily in Africa as the suffix - ia - might suggest. You know, like Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, there's also Tasmania and Russia, among others.
Gonzonia had fought for its deserved place among decent nations for a long, long time, ultimately occupying a much-deserved plush seat at the United Nations.
Meanwhile, strange things happened in the loony country, especially concerning the two sjamboks called chief whips.
Sjambok number one was known as ML3 and sjambok number two as MG21, their Gonzoid monikers.
The world's top behavioural scientists were baffled by the sjamboks called chief whips of Gonzonia.
ML3 committed a crime and was sent to prison. On the day he was to begin his sentence, top politicians, led by the Gonzoid speaker of parliament and some cabinet ministers, gave him a hero's farewell. The emotional speaker was seen on TV hurling herself inside the prison grounds, refusing to leave.
A speaker presides over a legislative body and must know the difference between comrade and criminal, but not in Gonzonia, it seems.
A few weeks later ML3 got a weekend pass and was caught on camera having a party with friends. His wife later denied the beer in ML3's hand implied that he had drunk it. ML3, it was known, never touched booze, said the loyal spouse. Yo.
MG21 had all sorts of accusations levelled against him. There was some commonality, though, as the claims against MG21 had to do with exploitation and abuse. Being a child maintenance dodger and sex pest goes against the moral grain of being a sjambok, "... chosen to organise and discipline the members of his party ... "
MG21 went underground as the women of his party bayed for his blood.
It seemed that time for two more sjamboks to replace ML3 and MG21 had come in the land of the zany.