Dorm Matron at Oprah's School in South Africa Accused of Misconduct

A dormitory matron at Oprah Winfrey's school for disadvantaged girls in South Africa has been suspended amid allegations of serious misconduct.

No details were disclosed about the alleged offense at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls at Henley on Klip, just south of Johannesburg.

Police confirmed they had been informed of the allegation, but weren't investigating at this stage.
Chief Executive Officer John Samuel said an internal inquiry had been initiated "based on one serious claim of misconduct involving a dormitory parent."

The accused was no longer on campus, Samuel said in a statement Friday, and immediate action had been taken "to ensure the safety and well-being of the academy's learners."

"Nothing is more serious or devastating to me than an allegation of misconduct by an adult against any girl at the academy," Winfrey said in a statement.

South Africa's Child Protection Services have been notified, and U.S. and South African private detectives have been engaged to investigate, Samuel said.

To ensure an impartial investigation, the head of the academy has agreed to take a paid leave of absence, Samuel said, making clear the woman wasn't the subject of any allegations.

The school was opened in January amid much fanfare.