Punishment on the horizon for matric cheats

Regulatory bodies will have the last say in WC while formal hearings will be held in the EC.

Regulatory bodies will have the last say in WC while formal hearings will be held in the EC. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Education Department says it has withheld the exams results of 46 Athlone pupils caught cheating.

An investigation found the learners were cheating during last year's finals.

The department's Paddy Attwell said, "The investigators audited every paper written at the Athlone campus. They also interviewed teachers and 46 candidates who have not yet received their results."

He added that the regulatory body will consider the findings from the investigation before taking any steps.


Meanwhile, the Department of Basic Education is to hold hearings to uncover the extent of exam cheating in the Eastern Cape.

At least 700 pupils and 20 invigilators in the province have been implicated in the saga.

The ministry's Elijah Mhlanga says the hearings are an opportunity for pupils and teachers to explain themselves.

"Now we will enter stage two of the process which is formal hearings. This means that implicated individuals will now be charged and be invited to answer to the charges brought against them."


The North West Education Department is also investigating claims that teachers at a high school near Brits were bribed by learners.

It's alleged some pupils at the Motshwane High School last month paid teachers R800 during exams so they could automatically pass.

The department's Brian Setswambung says the department will receive an investigation report soon.

"The report will empower the department in making a case and starting the disciplinary proceedings."

About 1,000 pupils have been implicated in cheating scandals detected by certification authority Umalusi in seven provinces, with most cases occurring in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

A number of centres have also been cleared.


The department is asking for the maximum punishment for matric pupils and invigilators involved in cheating.

Matriculants who are found to have cheated could be banned from writing matric for the next three years.

Mhlanga says the extent to which pupils and invigilators could be punished will depend on their involvement in the cheating.

He says officials found to be complicit in the scandal could face criminal charges as there is an element of fraud and misrepresentation.