Employee of Oprah's South African girls school arrested
A dormitory matron at Oprah Winfrey's school for disadvantaged girls in South Africa has been arrested on suspicion of abuse and sexual assault.
The JohannesburgFamily Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit arrested the unnamed 27-year-old woman on Thursday.
She is under investigationon charges of assault, indecent assault, criminal injury and soliciting underage girls to perform indecent acts involving at least seven victims, police said.
The incident has cast a pall over the reputation of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, which she opened Jan. 2 in an effort to give girls from backgrounds of poverty an elite education.
Winfrey, whohas often raised issues of sexual abuse on her chat show,was closely involved in designing the academy and selecting students.
The school announced on Oct. 17 that it had suspended the matron.
Local media reportWinfrey returned to the school recently to make a tearful apology to a meeting of parents and pupils over the abuse incidents.
Winfrey has been shuttling between the United States and South Africa since last month when the first accusations of wrongdoing at the boarding school surfaced.
Winfrey invested $40 million US in the school, and was criticized in South Africa for creating such a lavish environment when the money couldhave supportedthe country's impoverished school system.
Winfrey's Angel Network is also invested in schools in South Africa's poor townships.
She had made a promise to create the school to anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.
With files from the Associated Press