Poverty relief charity struck off by the Charity Commission and Companies House

An operational compliance case report on the Africa Children's Fund says there were a number of issues at the charity and it appeared to have made payments that weren't for a charitable purpose

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

A poverty relief charity has been struck off by Companies House and removed from the Charity Commission’s register after the regulator concluded it was making payments that did not appear to be for charitable purposes.

The commission opened an operational compliance case on the Africa Children’s Fund – which has variously used the names Kids Africa, Masakhane Trust and Africef – in January and removed it from the register on 12 May.

A case report, published by the commission today, says that the regulator contacted the charity – whose website was not operational – to tell it to submit outstanding accounts.

The commission said it had also been concerned to note that the charity had made several changes to its name during a relatively short space of time, that its recorded activities at Companies House did not match its objects and that it had submitted dormant accounts to Companies House in 2013, despite submitting a 2013 annual return to the commission indicating that its income was £24,090.

The regulator noted that the charity had only two trustees, one of whom lived abroad, when the charity’s governing document says it should have a minimum of three.

The charity’s trustees responded to the commission’s request by submitting its annual return for 2014, but they were unable to provide the commission with the charity’s accounts and failed, the commission said, to give it an acceptable explanation for this.

When the commission then proceeded to obtain the charity’s bank statements, the figures in the statements did not match those declared on the annual return and they also showed a number of payments that did not appear to be for charitable purposes, according to the regulator’s report.

The commission said it contacted the trustees for further information at this point but received no response.

In May the charity was dissolved and struck off by Companies House. This meant it was no longer a legal entity, the commission said, meaning it was removed from the register of charities.

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