Top level probe into exam cheats as results withheld

TOUGH STAND: Minister Naledi Pandor.  12/01/2009. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng.  © Sowetan.
TOUGH STAND: Minister Naledi Pandor. 12/01/2009. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. © Sowetan.

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

Only 700 candidates believed to have cheated have not received their matric results.

At least 56 300 students were left hanging when they did not receive their results on December 30 with the rest of their classmates.

By last Thursday, that number had dropped to less than 10000. With the release of the outstanding results on Friday, a further 700 were still being withheld.

"All outstanding results have now been released except candidates for whom there are serious irregularities," said Education Minister Naledi Pandor yesterday. "Investigations are being done and candidates will be charged."

The department's deputy director general Penny Vinjevold said that students found to have cheated might be banned from writing examinations for two years.

Pandor said that 33448 candidates who did not receive their results were absent on the day of exams.

The department's director general Duncan Hindle was also investigating the issue and was expected to release his report by month end. The Education Department has also appointed the National Irregularities Commission and Umalusi to investigate the exams and their report was also expected month end.

About 22 000 more matric candidates achieved university entrylast year than in 2007, but many cannot be absorbed into an overtaxed tertiary education system.

"We are trying to negotiate with institutions of higher learning to see if there were problems with admissions." .