Western Province Athletics board member charged with R250,000 fraud
Western Province Athletics board member Allen Barnes appeared in the Cape Town magistrate's court on a fraud charge on Monday.
Barnes, 53, was reported as a missing person on January 4. He was arrested in Gauteng six days later and taken back to Cape Town in police custody.
Western Province Athletics reportedly said it uncovered irregularities after Barnes disappeared, and launched a full investigation. On Monday prosecutor Adiel Jansen told the court that Barnes faced a R250,000 fraud charge.
“After the investigation, this amount may become more,” said Jansen. “ The state is not opposed to the release of the accused on bail.”
Barnes, wearing a khaki golf shirt, blue jeans and flip flops, looked exhausted. The court released him on R5,000 bail.
As part of his bail conditions, he must present himself to the Sea Point police station within seven days, provide the investigating officer with the password to a laptop computer and hand over his passport.
He is not allowed to leave the Western Cape without the investigating officer’s permission.
Jansen asked for a lengthy postponement “so the investigating officer has sufficient time at his disposal” to investigate.
Barnes will be back in court on April 30.
Police launched a search when Barnes initially went “missing” and appealed to the public for help.
“According to information supplied when he was reported missing, he left his residence in Bothasig at 3am using a silver Toyota Corolla which belongs to his fiancée. When he did not attend an athletic event in Strandfontein, it appeared odd and he was reported missing,” the police said in an earlier statement.
“The vehicle he was using was recovered on January 5 2020 at Cape Town International Airport. It is believed he may have been at Grand West Casino after leaving his residence and before the vehicle was left at Cape Town International Airport.”