The ex. employee accused of abusing children at television talk show host Oprah Winfrey's all-girl academy in South Africa has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. Former dorm matron Tiny Virginia Makopo was arrested in October on 14 charges including assault, indecent assault and soliciting underage girls to perform indecent acts. She is accused of committing the crimes at Winfrey’s Henley-on-Klip Leadership Academy over a period of four months in 2007.The trial opened in Johannesburg today with Makopo entering a not guilty plea to all charges against her.The judge overseeing the case has closed the court room to all the media and has moved to protect the privacy of the schoolgirls involved by allowing them to testify via video link. The windows at the city’s Sebokeng Magistrate Court have also been covered in brown paper and extra security has been hired to prevent the pupils from being identified.Winfrey was not present at the hearing but her lawyer, Elizabeth Wore, heard the evidence. If found guilty on all 14 charges, Makopo faces a minimum of 10 years in prison. The trial is expected to run until sometime in August. Winfrey co-founded the academy in 2006, and in late 2007, issued a heartfelt apology to the students who suffered at the hands of school officials.


Anonymous said…
It is terrible to have hurt and destroyed these girls. The school was/is a great opportunity for the advancement of PEOPLE. What a shame some has to pick on the innocent and impoverished.

I admire the philanthropy that assists others to LIVING and not existing. I wish each of these children much courage in the days ahead.

May God lift them up and remove the stumbling rocks from their paths.