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Fellow markers at the Barberton marking centre for the matric examination were shocked when the head of the centre died in his room on Sunday evening.
The Mpumalanga education department confirmed the incident but refused to be drawn into giving details.
But a source told Sowetan that the deceased had just finished marking the English paper when he died.
Departmental spokesman Jasper Zwane said the man died on his bed.
"That's all we can tell you now because a team from our office is still travelling to the man's home to inform his family," Zwane said.
"And I still want to interact with the MEC as well as the head of the department. They are both attending to other engagements at the moment."
Sources said the deceased suddenly took ill and died.
"Paramedics declared him dead when they arrived," said a source who asked not to be identified.
Sowetan was able to establish that the victim hailed from Pongola in KwaZulu- Natal and was head of the marking centre at the time of his death.
His identity will only be released after his next of kin have been informed.