By: Gavin Prins TV talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey had tears in her eyes as she asked parents to forgive her for alleged abuse at her girls’ school here. “I’ve disappointed you. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry,” Oprah told parents at an emergency meeting in a packed marquee tent on the school premises.
The TV talk-show queen has visited her school at Henley-on-Klip near Vereeniging at least twice in the past few weeks, after allegations that one of the matrons fondled a girl and that other pupils had been physically abused. Oprah gave the girls her personal telephone number, her e-mail address and her postal address so that they could contact her at any time, day or night.
Apart from the matron apparently involved, Oprah sent the principal, a Dr. Mzimane, and at least one other matron on leave two weeks ago. Only the principal was on paid leave. A parent told Rapport on Saturday evening that the abuse had visibly upset Oprah. She had felt guilty because she had trusted the principal and the matron.
Oprah has laid a charge
“I trusted her (Dr Mzimane). When I appointed her, I thought she was passionate about the children of Africa. “But, I’ve been disappointed,” Oprah said in tears last Saturday. The father of one of the pupils had responded by telling Oprah: “It’s not your fault. We don’t blame you.” “You trusted them. You have more passion for the school and its existence than anyone else in this country, including us parents.”
Oprah gave parents the assurance she would do everything possible to ensure that those who had been guilty of abuse would be dealt with. Rapport newspaper has disclosed that the queen of chat personally laid a charge with the police against the matron concerned. Oprah’s “daughters” have accused Dr. Mzimane of failing to take action, although the girls had often complained of being grabbed by the neck, beaten and thrown against a wall, and being sworn at.
Source: South Africa – News 24