Hawks to probe Mpumalanga exam leaks

The case of matric examination paper leaks in Mpumalanga has been handed over to the Hawks, the education department said on Tuesday.

“We have decided that the Hawks should take over the investigations because it’s a unit that’s more advanced than the police. We’re hoping more people would be arrested,” said chief director for national examinations and assessment, Nkosinathi Sishi.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks, replaced the National Prosecuting Authority’s Directorate of Special Operations.

Sishi said stern action would be taken against the culprits. He also called on the public to assist the department with information.

Thirteen people, including an official from the department, were arrested last year and have appeared in court several times.

The education department on Tuesday said it hoped to release exam results for Mpumalanga’s 60 000 matrics by the end of the week.

“The Minister [of Basic Education Angie Motshekga] is meeting Umalusi today [Tuesday] to talk through that. We know they are working hard to ensure that we issue the bulk of the results by the end of the week,” said spokesperson Granville Whittle.

“We are certainly working as hard as possible so that we don’t jeopardise any of the learners.”

Credible results
Exam quality assurance body Umalusi on Monday announced that matric results for Mpumalanga pupils would not be released with the rest of the country’s on Thursday.

“Umalusi regrets the inconvenience and anxiety this might generate on the part of the learners and families, but Umalusi is being guided by its statutory mandate of ensuring that the results approved for release are credible,” said Professor John Volmink, chairperson of Umalusi’s council.

The decision was made after five matric papers — mathematics papers one and two, physical science papers one and two and accounting — were leaked in the province.

AfriForum Youth demanded Motshekga take disciplinary steps against all officials responsible for the maladministration of the 2009 matriculation examination.

It threatened to take this matter up with the Human Rights Commission and the Public Protector and that it was also ready to launch a comprehensive campaign to assist matriculants disadvantaged by this “incompetence”.

The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) slammed the delay in the release of Mpumalanga’s matric results.

“It’s totally unacceptable that learners, for the second year running, have to pay the price for the incompetence of officials.

“Learners and educators worked hard over many years and suddenly they are at a disadvantage because the provincial department did not take the necessary steps to protect the credibility and creditworthiness of the exams,” said Fedsas provincial manager Constanze van der Walt.

It also demanded that necessary steps be taken against those involved in the debacle.

Matric results in North West, Gauteng, Free State, Limpopo, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal will be released on Thursday. – Sapa

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