Oprah head talks in US

Juliet Morulane (L), Oprah Winfrey and Nomphumelelo arriving at the the Gala opening of the Lion King South Africa at the Montecasino. Pic. Elvis Ntombela. 06/06/07.
Juliet Morulane (L), Oprah Winfrey and Nomphumelelo arriving at the the Gala opening of the Lion King South Africa at the Montecasino. Pic. Elvis Ntombela. 06/06/07.

The suspended head of Oprah Winfrey's controversial private academy for girls says she is very hurt and has fled to the US.

The suspended head of Oprah Winfrey's controversial private academy for girls says she is very hurt and has fled to the US.

Nomvuyo Nzamane broke her silence to flatly deny she ever turned her back on girls allegedly abused by the school's ex-matron Virginia Mokgobo.

Speaking through her close friend, Philadelphia attorney Timothy McGowan, Nzamane said the response to this "terrible crisis" had been to blame her.

"Contrary to reports, I had no knowledge of abuse. I did not and would never participate in any such cover-up.

"As the head of the academy, my track record had been of one who acted decisively and in the best interests of the child where there was even a hint of inappropriate speech or action."

McGowan said the allegations had been totally unfounded and that his client was "an extremely private person, and only wants to reinstate her good name of 20 years of great teaching both in the US and in South Africa."

McGowan said when it became clear her contract would not be renewed in January, Nzamane returned to the US, where she remains suspended, but on full pay.

"This has been one of the most devastating experiences of my life," Oprah Winfrey said last week from the US. - Sapa

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