Die Mannheim Sage

TV series, 1986

Period drama set in the days of the Witwatersrand gold rush. The series followed the parallel stories of Deborah von Albein, a beautiful and stubborn young woman, and her great-granddaughter Irene. In 1886, Deborah and her mother are forced off the family farm in the Western Cape, to the goldfields of what was fast becoming the new town of Johannesburg. Here Deborah falls in love with a dashing Irishman, Kit Malloy, who has already made his fortune and is one of the most influential men in the Transvaal. But instead, she marries Karel, the weak and spoilt son of mine magnate Kurt Mannheim. After Kurt's death, Deborah gains control over the family business and becomes one of the most powerful women in the country. This puts her in direct conflict with Kit. And yet, despite their family feud, two wars, betrayal, misunderstandings and lots of intrigue, Kit and Deborah seem destined to be together. Meanwhile, in 1986, Deborah's great-granddaughter Irene inherits her diaries. As she reads about her ancestor's life, she realises that their stories - and their love lives - are very similar. The series was based on the popular Springbok Radio serial of the early 1980s and was adapted for television in celebration of Johannesburg's centenary.

Production summary: 

Premiere date:

15 August 1986






Historical drama; Based on radio drama

Number of series:


Number of episodes:


Production company:

Talent Films


Koos Roets


Lerina Erasmus

Based on:

The radio drama by Lerina Erasmus

Translation of title:

"The Mannheim Saga"

Cast and Crew: 

Sandra PrinslooDeborah Mannheim
Hans StrydomKit Malloy
Richard van der WesthuizenKarel Mannheim
Lynne MareeIrene Ramsey
Danie JoubertDawid Neethling
Percy SieffKurt Mannheim
Trix PienaarDeborah's mother
Lisa PrinslooDeborah von Albein (as teenager)
Anna Neethling-PohlSannie Pienaar
Alida TheronBess Pienaar
Karin RetiefVictoria Malloy
William Abdul
Lulu Strachan
Lochner de Kock
Don Lamprecht
Joey de Koker
Gretha Brazelle
Chris du Toit
Grethe Fox
Anton Schmidt
Trudie Taljaard
Sybel Coetzee
Brian O'Shaughnessy
Nicky Rebelo 

Louis MollerDirector
Lerina ErasmusWriter
Hans NelArt director
Thea EygelsheimMake-up
Tobie SwanepoelCamera and lighting


Episode 1
Original air date: 15 August 1986

In 1986, Irene Ramsay returns from America to claim her inheritance. She comes across the diaries of her great-grandmother, Deborah von Albein, and becomes riveted by the tale of this fiesty teenager whose greedy stepfather squanders her inheritance and forces the family into poverty.



  • TV-Redaksie, Mannheim-Sage Binnekort oor TV. Die Burger, 30 Julie 1986, p.3.
  • Hanlie Retief, Koos Roets se Reeks oor Johannesburg se 'Goue' Jare 'Die Mannheim-Sage' kon net Sowel Waar Wees. Die Burger, 15 Augustus 1986, p.8.
  • 'Mannheim Sage' met Ontembare Deborah Terug. Die Burger Oos-Kaap, 13 Januarie 1994, p.5.
  • Jan Liebenberg, Die Helkampe Herleef vir 'n Paar Minute. Keur, 24 Oktober 1986, pp.30-32.
  • Zanné Greyvenstein, Sandra Prinsloo... Steeds die Grote aan Ons Sterrehemel. Keur, 22 Augustus 1986, pp.6-7.
  • Paul Brinkman, 'Dit Was Hel!' Keur, 3 Oktober 1986, pp.18-19.
  • 'Ek is maar Taamlik Vervelig,' sê Richard. Keur, 12 Desember 1986, pp.68-69.