A dorm parent at television celebrity Oprah Winfrey's girl school has been suspended for misconduct, the school announced yesterday.
"The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls has initiated an internal inquiry based on one serious claim of misconduct involving a dorm parent at the academy," said John Samuel, chief executive of the school at Henley-on-Klip, south of Johannesburg.
He said the person had been "removed" from the campus and immediate action was taken to ensure the safety and well-being of the pupils. Child protection services had been notified.
"We have engaged professional investigators of the highest standing from South Africa and the US to conduct a fair and impartial inquiry into these claims," he said.
The inquiry was being conducted with minimal disruption to campus life and pupils were receiving counselling.
He said the Head of Academy and the Academy administration had mutually decided that the head should take a paid leave of absence in order to ensure an impartial investigation.
Samuel would not disclose any personal information about the dorm parent or the details of the allegation.
"Nothing is more serious or devastating to me than an allegation of misconduct by an adult against any girl at the Academy," Winfrey, the American celebrity, said in a statement.
"I will do everything within my power to ensure their safety and well-being."
Vaal police spokeswoman Inspector Trudi Wilken said police were investigating a case of misconduct against the dorm parent. - Sapa