DURBAN - The much publicised Social Cohesion conference by the municipality has been cancelled at the last minute. The announcement was made by the city's head of Parks and Recreation Thembinkosi Ngcobo on Monday morning just minutes before the conference was scheduled to begin.
In a room full of delegates and speakers he told the stunned crowd that due to an order "from above" the city's leadership had decided to cancel the conference.
No reason for the cancellation was given.
The conference had been months in the making with dialogues around themes that relate to the official theme of Black History being held at various venues.
The conference was to be held at the luxurious Coastlands Hotel. When questioned why it was cancelled, Ngcobo, who initially said he would not take questions said he did not know why it was cancelled but details would be shared at a later stage. He also could not say how much the conference cost. He said money should not be an issue as the conference was part of building society and cost should not be a factor.
The conference had speakers such as IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Social analyst Ashwin Desai and Black First Land First leader Andile Mgxitama as people who were scheduled to speak.
Ngcobo said there were discussions late on Sunday night on whether to cancel the conference and the city's management only came to a final decision on Monday morning. Buthelezi was the only person who was informed of the possibility of the conference being cancelled. The conference was set to be held over two days.
Buthelezi had called a press conference at the IFP's offices on Monday.
Some of the delegates vowed to carry on with the discussions that were to be held while some tried to make sense of what was happening.