School Ties

Unveiling The Reality: M-Net’s ‘School Ties’ Chronicles Abuse In SA Schools

In a ground-breaking four-part documentary series titled School Ties, M-Net (DStv Channel 101) delves into the harrowing world of grooming and sexual abuse within some of South Africa’s most esteemed boys’ schools.


  • Premiering on May 16 at 9pm, the series sheds light on a distressing reality often concealed behind the facades of prestigious educational institutions.
  • Amidst the backdrop of escalating concerns over the safety and well-being of schoolchildren, School Ties unveils a troubling narrative.
  • In 2019 alone, the South African Council of Educators (SACE) reported 122 cases of sexual abuse perpetrated by teachers, with the alarming statistic that two out of three cases go unreported.
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Produced by Devilsdop, Steinheist and Convict Conman producers Idea Candy, School Ties meticulously examines individual cases of abuse, shedding light on the tragic aftermath and the collective efforts of government, schools, and society to combat this pervasive issue.


Each episode of the series delves into a specific case, including the tragic suicide of 16-year-old Thomas Kruger following an alleged inappropriate relationship with a water polo coach, and the chilling surveillance footage revealing abuse by another coach. Additionally, the series explores the devastating impact of abuse on victims like Julio Mordoh, who took his own life a decade after enduring abuse by his sports coach.



Rather than sensationalizing the details, School Ties adopts a measured approach, drawing on expert interviews and testimonies to help parents recognize signs of abuse in their children. By unpacking the historical context of elite institutions and highlighting law enforcement efforts, the series aims to empower viewers with knowledge and understanding. Producer Wim Steyn emphasizes that the series seeks to prompt dialogue and awareness rather than incite panic. By amplifying survivors’ voices and honouring their resilience, School Ties endeavours to effect positive change within educational systems.


Director Richard Finn Gregory acknowledges the emotional toll of documenting such harrowing stories but underscores the importance of sharing tales of resilience and hope. Through the courage of survivors and the dedication of child protection experts, School Ties advocates for systemic reforms to safeguard learners. As School Ties unfolds, viewers are invited to confront uncomfortable truths and challenge prevailing norms around masculinity and victimhood. By prioritizing the voices of survivors, the series aims to foster a culture of accountability and support within schools and communities.


The significance of School Ties extends beyond its narrative; it serves as a call to action for adults to prioritize the safety and well-being of children. By breaking the silence surrounding abuse and fostering an environment of consent and respect, we can work towards a future where every child feels safe and supported.


School Ties runs on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) every week for four weeks, starting 16 May 2024 at 9pm. The series will also be available for streaming on DStv Stream and DStv Catch Up.


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