Durban mayor Zandile Gumede and municipal manager Sipho Nzuza are to blame for wasting more than R2.1m of ratepayers’ money on the municipality’s Social Cohesion Conference in June‚ a suspended senior manager has said in court papers. The event‚ scheduled for June 19 and 20 at the plush Coastlands Hotel in Umhlanga‚ was cancelled at the last minute on the opening morning. Guests‚ speakers and radio stations set up for live broadcasts had already arrived — and‚ along with other service providers‚ had already been paid or had their costs picked up. After the cancellation‚ the city’s head of parks and recreation‚ Themba Ngcobo‚ was suspended. But Ngcobo is now fighting back. In papers filed in the Labour Court‚ he claims that he is a scapegoat. His hearing was scheduled for Thursday morning at 10am. Among other charges — including being responsible for fruitless and wasteful expenditure — Ngcobo has been accused of bringing the municipality into disrepute. He was suspended on July 14. ...

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