A brawl between rival factions of NAMEC (National Association of Manufacturers in Electronic Components)  South Africa,during an ICT conference that was hosted by the department of telecommunications and postal service, was averted by the police, according to reports.

What could have caused such flagrant show of animosity between the small medium and micro enterprises (SMME) manufacturers who are working together (or independently) for the common good?

The trouble started when the president of a faction of NAMEC (Keith Thabo), allegedly interested in South Africa’s multibillion rand digital television migration project, was ejected (by the police) from a conference organised by South Africa’s department of telecommunications and postal services, after claims of intent to commit violence.

The whole drama seems to be centred around the manner in which set-top boxes should be manufactured, while one faction favoured the use of encryption in government-subsidised TV boxes to shield local manufacturing industries, the other side apparently has differing views.

Another rival faction, also under NAMEC, led by Adil Nchabeleng said, “Keith and his bodyguards came to the conference with the intention to intimidate them”.  Professor Kunene, deputy secretary general, a member of the Adil-led faction, said that the “sole purpose of intimidating the true leadership of Namec” was the real reason Keith came to the conference.

The secretary general added further that “empowerment raiders” came into the Birchwood Conference Centre on the East Rand with “huge armed Nigerian bodyguards”.

To get a balanced view of the whole pandemonium, Mr Keith Thabo’s side was sought to which he claimed he wasn’t aware of any incident and declined to comment further.

Let’s hope they can settle their differences amicably without resorting to tactics that’ll degenerate into chaos and trouble for the same people they’re working hard to serve –after all, the sky’s wide enough for birds to fly without getting in each other’s face.

Featured Image: Jaintv

Olumuyiwa Coker Author

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox