Oprah's former school matron abuse case postponed

Journalists watch as Virginia Mokgobo (C), a former dormitory matron charged with abusing students at talk show host Oprah Winfrey's all-girl academy, walks past after her case was postponed following a brief court appearance at the Sebokeng magistrate court in Johannesburg, December 13, 2007. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African court on Thursday postponed the case against a former dormitory matron charged with abusing students at U.S talk show host Oprah Winfrey’s girls’ academy.

Virginia Mokgobo, 27, arrested in November and granted bail, appeared in the Sebokeng magistrate court to faces charges of indecent assault, common assault, soliciting a minor to perform indecent acts and verbal abuse.

Magistrate Arend van Wielligh postponed the case to January 16, 2008, to give Mokgobo time to consult with her lawyer.

Mokgobo, wearing a black pleated miniskirt, a striped blue and white t-shirt and a cap pulled low to shield her face did not say anything during her court appearance.

Friends and relatives rushed to hide her from the media as she left the court house under heavy police protection after the case was adjourned.

A trial date would be set at her next court appearance.

Winfrey, a billionaire philanthropist, said last month she would be “cleaning house” at the academy and described the charges against the matron as one of the most devastating experiences of her life.

Reporting by Ndundu Sithole, writing by Bate Felix