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Oprah school 'ruined girl's future'

By Patience Bambalele | Jan 14, 2013 | COMMENTS [ 212 ]

THE mother of a girl who was subjected to 24-hour supervision at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in the Vaal has accused the school of "ruining my daughter's future"

Pauline Bachoko alleges that academy head Anne van Zyl refused to find her child Paballo Bachoko, 17, alternative schooling as promised.

Paballo was expelled from the school for allegedly stealing airtime.

Now Paballo idles her time away at home in Kagiso because her choice of subjects is not available in many schools in Kagiso.

"There are a few schools that are prepared to take her, but the problem is the subjects that she is doing," Bachoko says. "Van Zyl promised to find a school and pay her school fees.

"The one that matches her subjects is the Dominican Convent in Kensington and it costs R105,200 a year, which I don't have."

Bachoko also claims Van Zyl told her she will no longer help because Sowetan had run an article about her daughter's case. Van Zyl refutes the claim that she will not help because of the story.

"That is not what I said to her mother. I told her that we are trying to find a school for Paballo with the Department of Education. I cannot say when we will find the school."

Dominican Convent principal Michael Till says Van Zyl has approached the school for a space, though she has not contacted them this year.

Bachoko even approached the office of the executive mayor of Mogale City for help.

Mogale City local municipality spokesman Nkosana Zali says: "The office of the executive mayor of Mogale City was approached by Pauline Bachoko to assist her child".

- bambalelep@sowetan.co.za