Back in the day we faced actual punishment for stepping out of line. The order of severity went: detention, hide tanned, suspension and then expulsion. And if you really stepped out of line by doing something criminal, you'd get caned by the cops under doctor's supervision (yes, millenials, even the whiteys).
There were also strict legal limits on corporal punishment in South Africa. That South African schools were infested with violent criminals masquerading as teachers doesn't change the fact that so-called hide tanning was illegal long ago. Parents and pupils just didn't know the law or they were too passive to lay criminal charges against these scum. Today there'd be video evidence and they wouldn't be able to keep their dirty little habits secret like they did decades ago.