Following reports of abuse at Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for Girls, South African police have arrested a former school employee on charges of physical and sexual abuse.

According to reports, the matron — whose name was not publicly released — threw one student against a wall and screamed, swore at and assaulted several others. She will appear in court on Monday on charges of physical abuse against the girls and soliciting them for indecent acts.


Late last week, in response to reports of the abuse, Winfrey flew to South Africa to investigate the situation. She suspended the school’s principal with pay and suspended the school matron without pay.

Today Oprah released a statement in response to the incident:


“I’d like to thank the South African Police Services for bringing this
investigation at my Academy to a timely resolution. I am grateful for
their compassion and sensitivity to the girls during this difficult
time. It means the world to me. It is my deepest hope that the accused
is brought to justice and that this serves as a reminder that any time
a child has the courage to step forward, it is our duty as adults to
listen and take immediate action.”

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