Oprah stays mum on dead baby scandal

2011-02-19 18:31

A spokesperson for Oprah ­Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls said they would not comment on the discovery of the body of a new-born baby this week.

The baby, found in a plastic bag filled with bloodied clothes, ­belonged to a 17-year-old pupil at the Henley-on-Klip school, near Meyerton, in Johannesburg south.

Police are investigating a case of concealment of birth.

A Chicago-based spokesperson told international media that the talkshow host and the academy’s founder, Oprah Winfrey, preferred not to comment because the case involved a minor.

Attempts to get hold of Oprah’s publicist, Lisa Halliday, and the school’s management proved ­unsuccessful.

According to police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, the girl gave birth at the school and was taken to Midvaal Hospital in Meyerton after she was found bleeding excessively. The baby’s body was found in the girl’s plastic bag at the hospital.

The cause of death is unknown.

Said Dlamini: “Police will ­discuss the case with the director of public prosecutions once the investigation has been finalised.”

Oprah’s academy for girls, which was launched in 2007, is no stranger to controversy.

In October, former school ­matron Virginia Makopo, was ­acquitted of sexually abusing ­pupils after a two-year court ­battle.

In 2008 she was accused of fondling and kissing more than a dozen girls, and was charged with indecent assault, assault, crimen injuria and committing immoral and indecent acts.

She was found not guilty on all ­charges.

Last year Oprah fired head ­mistress Nomvuyo Mzamane for ignoring sexual abuse complaints. Mzamane sued Winfrey for defamation.

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