Oprah to defend lawsuit

A FEDERAL judge has ordered Oprah Winfrey to defend a defamation suit filed by the former headmistress of her girls' school in South Africa.

The case is set for trial on March 29 in Philadelphia, US.

Judge Eduardo Robreno refused to dismiss the suit in a decision on Monday.

He said former headmistress Nomvuyo Mzamane had enough evidence to pursue claims that Winfrey had defamed her.

Winfrey made the remarks in 2007 after sex abuse complaints surfaced at her school for poor girls near Johannesburg.

A matron at the school was charged with abusing girls.

Winfrey's lawyer, William Hangley, declined to comment yesterday.

Mzamane's lawyer did not return calls for comment. - Sapa-AP