Lengthy wait for KZN matric cheats

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The KwaZulu-Natal department of education has announced that 1500 candidates did not receive their matric results because of cheating and technical irregularities.

One bizarre irregularity included writing cellphone numbers in the space provided for the examination number.

While the department is dealing with the irregularities, many candidates are becoming anxious because tertiary institutions are turning them away.

About 56000 matric pupils in the country did not receive their results last week. The delay was caused by a combination of factors, including cases in which pupils wrote certain papers and not others; and at least 700 irregularities indicating pupils "had cheated".

The provincial department's spokesman, Mbali Thusi, denied allegations that there were 17000 candidates who did not receive their results.

"In total, the number of candidates who have not received their results is 1500. The only outstanding results are those which fall under categories of irregularities [such as] allegations of group cheating and using crib notes. The candidates have already been invited to their district offices to write statements," Thusi said.

All cases of examination irregularities are expected to be finalised by January 30. Outstanding matric results are expected by the end of the week.

The Kwazulu-Natal Parents Association blames education officials for the delay and has called on the department to "do away with incompetent officials".

Sipho Nkosi, the South African Democratic Teachers Union's provincial secretary, insisted the delay was political. "There are people wanting to sabotage the province, especially now towards the elections."

He said the union had names of the "culprits" and would reveal their identities to the department.