I really think it must be told - just what goes on when it comes to charities in Africa and the corruption that surrounds the whole 'industry'. Billions are 'donated' to a myriad of causes, and no one cares to know the authenticity of these charities! It's easier to pay the money and feel better about yourself and never look back. Take Oprah Winfrey who makes people's lives brighter by donating money to countless causes. Her generosity makes all the middle class North American women get that warm fuzzy feeling. I would probably have this same feeling, and be inspired after an hour of Oprah on the TV in my middle class livingroom. That is, if I didn't know too much.
I'm here to tell you it ain't that simple.
Oprah has turned her sights on South Africa over the past 5 years, in light of the abolition of Apartheid and the rise of the ANC. The Oprah Winfrey show, along with the NBA, became involved with a woman called 'Mama Jackey' back in 2001, in support of her home for orphaned and wayward black youth. They even invited Mama and 'her children' to the States to showcase their cause on the Oprah Show a few years ago.
Since then, Mama Jackey and her kids have been involved in quite a few arrests and court cases back home. A well known South African investigative reporting Television Show called Carte Blanche has uncovered the entire Ithuteng home and 'Trust' to be a fraud. They interviewed the teens who all admitted that the stories they told the sponsors were prompted by Mama Jackey, and were completely false. Their tears were fake, their parents are still alive and well. The Ithuteng home was said to house hundreds of orphaned and abandoned children and Oprah donated over USD$1 million for this house and scholarships for the students in 2005.
Carte Blanche investigated and discovered the monies had gone missing. No scholarships were being paid and the home remained empty. Jackey has since been charged with assault, kidnapping of reporters, and the finances of Ithuteng are under scutiny. It is a scam. It has always been a scam.
And the most disturbing part is that the Oprah show was contacted back in November 2006 when the scandal was unveiled. They had NO COMMENT.
And again this month, when contacted about the recent developments in the pending cases and discoveries, they had NO COMMENT. In fact, the Oprah Winfrey Foundation's official representative in South Africa, Mrs. Patricia Molaba was arrested this very week as a co-conspirator in the kidnapping of a reporter this month ... and the other person charged in the same crime? Mama Jackey Maarohanye.