'We take our duty of care seriously' - St Andrew's College in wake of podcast on boy, 16, who hanged himself

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The headmaster at St Andrew's College says they are unaware of any predatory behaviour by a staff member, which could have caused Thomas Kruger's death. (Picture: Nokuthula Manyathi/News24)
The headmaster at St Andrew's College says they are unaware of any predatory behaviour by a staff member, which could have caused Thomas Kruger's death. (Picture: Nokuthula Manyathi/News24)
Nokuthula Manyathi/News24

My Only Story Season 2: Back to School is a podcast series and live investigation. It is written and edited by Deon Wiggett, and is a co-production of NPC My Only Story and News24


  • In 2018, a boy died in the clinic of an elite South African school.
  • He was sent back from a camp after being found with contraband.
  • Three years on, his father has unanswered questions about his three-year journey at the school.

The headmaster at St Andrew's College says they are unaware of any predatory behaviour by a staff member, which could have caused Thomas Kruger's death.

"There was an article and podcast published by News24 today (Thursday) that suggested the death of Thomas Kruger, in 2018, was related to predatory behaviour by a staff member at the time," headmaster Alan Thompson said in a communique to the school community on Thursday.

PODCAST | 'No words to express the loss of a child': Father of boy, 16, who hanged himself at prestigious school, seeks answers

He said only limited information was shared in the episode and "we are thus unaware of the exact nature of the allegations".

The statement comes after News24 and non-profit company (NPC) My Only Story co-produced a podcast, which investigates the death of 16-year-old Kruger in 2018.

News24 previously reported that Kruger's dad, Charl, a financial advisor, said he believed there was more to the angst and suffering that made his son take that fateful step.

The lives of the Kruger family changed forever on 18 November 2018 when they received the news that Thomas was found hanging from a first-floor window of the sanatorium building at the school in Makhanda.

On the fateful night, the teenager squeezed through a small window and hanged himself. 

Thompson said: "We cooperated fully with the authorities when they investigated this matter in 2019 and will continue to do so should the investigation be reopened."

PODCAST | My Only Story: Teen's suicide reveals shadowy ring of predators at top SA schools

He added he was open to facing any process that may unfold. 

He informed parents and staff that he would handle the matter transparently and with integrity, and keep the St Andrew's community informed. 

"We take our duty of care extremely seriously - we are working closely with our support team (internal and external) to provide support for students and staff, should it be needed," he said. 

He informed parents and staff to contact him if they had any queries or information.

Thompson previously said the reasons for Thomas' suicide remained unknown.

"We investigated every aspect of this incident, reviewed it independently, and found no obvious triggering event."


New episodes of My Only Story S2: Back to School will be published every Thursday at 05:00 until 21 October.

Please continue sending us your stories and tip-offs. You can contact us, completely confidentially, at tips@24.com or message us on WhatsApp or Telegram on 071 382 7030


        

    
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