Winfrey 'Happy' Child Abuse Scandal Has Hit Headlines Worldwide

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LATEST: Oprah Winfrey is glad the allegations of child abuse at her all-girls academy in South Africa have garnered the attention of the world's media, because it allows her to correct the school's faults before they get even worse. The media mogul visited the Henley-On-Klip Leadership Academy, which she co-founded in 2006, last month (Oct07), after hearing reports a matron at the boarding school had molested a pupil. A total of 15 victims have since come forward. Former employee Virginia Mokgobo, 27, was arrested on Thursday (29Oct07) on numerous charges, including assault, indecent assault and soliciting underage girls to perform indecent acts, after a local newspaper article brought attention to the matter. Mokgobo has been bailed pending further investigation. But Winfrey believes it is not the school that is to blame - it is the "systems" in place in the academy which led to the situation. She says, "I'm happy for it to get the attention (it has); it is my goal in life to put abusers - whether it be in the home, the academy, at work - where they belong, which is behind bars. The attention is justified. "I don't think we've failed the girls as a school, because there are many people at the school who are caring, dedicated and want the best for all the girls. "The systems in the school failed the girls. Once you remove the systems and put in a new leadership, all that will change. "No one is ever happy to have this kind of scandal or crisis, but I am happy it happened now and not one, two years from now, because we can now move to correct it. And as I've said to the girls, it is an opportunity to clean house."


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