Leaked matric exam papers must not be rewritten, judge orders

A court has that two leaked matric exam papers must not be rewritten.
A court has that two leaked matric exam papers must not be rewritten.
Image: 123RF/Julija Sapic

The two leaked matric exam papers must not be rewritten, the Pretoria high court ruled on Friday.

Judge Norman Davis has set aside the basic education department's decision to have the two leaked matric papers rewritten.

This comes after an urgent application was brought before the court this week by four applicants, including AfriForum and the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu). They wanted to reverse the department's decision to rewrite physical science paper 2 and maths paper 2 after the papers were leaked on WhatsApp.

“The decision to have the Maths paper 2 and Physical science paper 2 of the National Senior Certificate examination of 2020 rewritten was irregular and unlawful and should reviewed and set aside.  I further conclude that the learners have a right to have their exam papers marked in terms on regulation 45, which provide for such rights, irrespective of whatever proposal or certifications may be made by Umalusi (Quality Assurance Body), now or in the future,” Davis said.

“The complaints of injustice resulting from subjecting literally hundreds of thousands of innocent learners to a rewriting process are, to my mind justified by the current negligible known extent of the number of learners who may have benefitted from the leaked papers. 195 learners out of 339 000 who wrote mathematics paper 2 translate to less than 0.06% and the percentage is even lower in respect of physical science paper 2. The conclusion by Umalusi that such a negligible percentage has so irrevocably damaged the integrity of these two papers that it cannot be certified cannot be sustained,” he said.

The court also ordered the department and quality assurance body Umalusi to mark the scripts of pupils represented by AfriForum and those who were not involved in any irregularity regarding the leaked papers.


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