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‘Missing’ Cape Town athletics official in dock on fraud charge

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A Western Province Athletics (WPA) official is expected to appear in a Cape Town court next week after making an initial appearance in court in Gauteng on Monday for fraud, the Herald reported on Wednesday.

Allen Barnes was reported missing on January 4. He left his home in Bothasig at about 03:00 that morning, using his fiancée’s car, but failed to arrive at an athletics event in Strandfontein, police said at the time.

The car was found at Cape Town International Airport the next day. Police believed that he was at Grand West Casino before then.

Days later, WPA confirmed that Barnes, the organisation’s finance officer, was being probed for irregularities found after his disappearance, saying it was conducting a full investigation.

The Herald reported that WPA had opened a fraud case against him and had called a special general meeting in February to oust him.

It cited a communiqué which read that the meeting planned for February 6 was to discuss Barnes’ removal as a board member, for him to be recalled from its structures and to look into the investigation into possible non-compliance of its corporate governance, specifically focusing on “financials”.

According to the publication, WPA president Jakes Jacobs and police would not disclose the amount of money involved in the alleged fraud.

Western Cape police confirmed the arrest on Thursday morning.

“The suspect in the matter, 53-year-old Allen Barnes was arrested on 10 January 2020 in Gauteng where he also made a brief court appearance on Monday 13 January 2020,” said Colonel Andrè Traut.

“He is scheduled to make his second court appearance in Cape Town on 20 January 2020. Allen Barnes was reported missing at the Bothasig police station more than a week ago but this file has since been closed.”

Source: News24

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