Africa

Oprah Winfrey school abuse: South African matron freed

Oprah Winfrey opening the school in 2007
Image caption The school is intended to help children from poor backgrounds

The former matron of Oprah Winfrey's school in South Africa has been cleared on charges of abusing girls there.

Virginia Mokgobo had faced 14 charges relating to the sexual and physical abuse of six girls.

Oprah Winfrey has expressed her disappointment at the verdict but said she was proud of the girls for having the courage to testify.

The US talk-show host has said she was herself abused as a child and has campaigned against abuse in the US.

Her Leadership Academy near Johannesburg, was opened in 2007 at a cost of $40m (£25m).

Ms Winfrey pledged to build the academy after meeting former South African President Nelson Mandela in 2002, and personally interviewed many of the South African girls from low-income families who applied for the initial 150 places at the school.

The prosecution said it was not intending to appeal against the verdict.

The elite boarding school was also hit by another sex scandal last year.

Seven students were suspended for allegedly harassing a school mate.

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