Monday, December 24, 2007

Oprah Winfrey’s Dream School Faces A Nightmare

Almost a year ago, Oprah Winfrey made a promise to Nelson Mandela that she would open an Academy in South Africa. January, 2008, will be the one year mark for Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy. Unfortunately, Winfrey’s 1st year anniversary was stigmatized with a child abuse scandal. On December, 20, 2007, Winfrey issued a response to the arrest of the dorm matron regarding child abuse allegations. The 27 year old dorm matron, Tiny Virginia Makopo was charged by Johannesburg court with 13 counts of assault, indecent assault, crimen injuria (injuring another person's dignity) and soliciting underage girls to perform indecent acts. Makopo pleaded not guilty and was placed on a $450 bail. Winfrey claimed that school officials tried to hide the truth from her and in doing so; she announced that she would not be renewing the contract of the headmistress and other staff.

Winfrey expressed her appreciation for the investigation. According to Associated Press, Winfrey stated, “I’d like to thank the South African Police Services for bringing this investigation at my Academy to a timely resolution. Nothing is more serious or devastating to me than an allegation of misconduct by an adult against any girl at the academy. This serves as a reminder that any time a child has the courage to step forward it is our duty as adults to listen and take immediate action.”

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