Barnes shares perspective

2015-06-17 06:00

THE man at the centre of the battle for control of the Oppermansgronde Communal Property Association (Ocpa), Phillip Louis Barnes, has hit back at his detractors, dismissing their accusations. In a story published in the Express of 22 to 24 April (“Battle over land”), Barnes, the Ocpa chairperson, along with his executive committee, was accused of mismanagement and of not being transparent with the affairs of the Ocpa.

“We want to state that the reports published by Express are false and the people spoken to in obtaining this information are not constitutional members of the CPA of Oppermansgronde,” Barnes said shortly after his appearance in the Koffie­fontein Magistrate’s Court on charges of the pointing of a firearm and assault.

He said the claims of corruption were unfounded.

Express gladly publishes Barnes’s and his sister Rose September’s perspective.

A letter written by September and addressed to Gert Coetzee, acting editor of Volksblad and overall editorial head of the Volksblad group, stated that the statements in the article were not in the public interest and had the potential to encourage and incite violence.

In the letter September disputed statements in the article, and said the following are factually untrue and defamatory:

) The facts in respect of the incident (march) on Saturday, 25 April;

) The “claim” that the situation was “potentially a deadly feud”;

) That the financial statements had not been made available to members of the Ocpa; and

) Other grievous statements relating to the birth right of Phillip Louis Barnes and his parentage.

Henry Jacquire, treasurer of the Ocpa, said since the publication of the reports into the infighting within the Oppermansgronde claimants, community members have been making snide comments about them and they feel their lives have been put in danger.

“They are making our lives cheap by these false claims,” Jacquire said.

Barnes will appear again in the Koffiefontein Magistrate’s Court on 27 July on the charges of assault and the pointing of a firearm and Express will cover the proceedings of the court case

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