Police confirmed on Wednesday that they had cracked what was believed to be South Africa's biggest child pornography ring with links to various other countries.
Six men were arrested in five provinces in connection with the case.
Police confirmed that those arrested included a principal, who was also an award-winning author, two teachers, a lawyer, a dermatologist and a businessman.
National police spokesperson Solomon Makgale said that five of the men had already appeared in court on various charges relating to the possession of child pornography.
He said authorities also suspected that the men were importing pornography.
"The initial charge was possession, but we suspect that they're involved in manufacturing, import and export as well as mass-distribution," Makgale told AFP.
"The indications are there. They had cameras. They had these external hard-drives," he added.
"One of the people we arrested is involved in the export-import business."
Electronic equipment, including 600 DVDs, memory sticks, laptops, tablets, and external hard-drives, as well as 25 books believed to contain images of child pornography, had been confiscated.
The images show children "suffering extreme forms of violence", The Times reported.
Investigators said that the group had links with Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Western Europe and Australasia.
Meanwhile, a prestigious private school based in Nelspruit immediately dismissed its principal.
"The agreement follows his arrest for allegedly being in possession of child pornography," the school is quoted as saying in The Times.