Posted by Media Outrage on November 6th, 2007
Oprah Winfrey said on Monday she was “cleaning house” at her exclusive all-girl academy in South Africa after a dormitory matron was charged with abusing students.
Describing the charges — including soliciting under-age girls to perform indecent acts — as one of the most devastating experiences in her life, Winfrey said she had not renewed the head mistress’s contract and was taking other tough measures.
“We are removing the dorm parents, and as I have said to the girls, (we are) cleaning house from top to bottom,”.
It has shaken me to my core,”.
Former dormitory matron Virginia Mokgobo, 27, was arrested on Thursday on charges including assault, indecent assault and soliciting under-age girls to perform indecent acts.
She was freed on 3,000 rand ($458) bail on Monday after a brief court appearance and left the Sebokeng magistrate court, south of Johannesburg with a blanket over her head. The court postponed the case to December 13 to allow for more investigations.
“Knowing what I know now the screening process was inadequate even though I was not directly responsible for recruiting dorm parents,” she told a room packed with journalists listening to the video conference.
“No, I don’t think as a school we have failed the girls. I feel there are systems within the school that failed the girls. I don’t feel that it has harmed my personal reputation because I have done nothing wrong.”