Matric exam leaks: Basic education dept won’t appeal High Court ruling

Several bodies including Sadtu and AfriForum took the department to court challenging the decision to rewrite the maths paper 2 and physical science paper 2 exams.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The Basic Education Department on Saturday said it would not appeal the ruling by the High Court in Pretoria which set aside its decision to undertake a national rewrite of two leaked exam papers.

Several bodies including the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) and lobby group AfriForum took the department to court challenging the decision to rewrite the maths paper 2 and physical science paper 2 exams.

With investigations into the leaks still ongoing, the department said it would accept the ruling, however, with reservations.

It says the court failed to address the impact the leaked papers will have on the credibility, integrity and fairness of the 2020 National Senior Certificate.

The department's spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said, “The department is disappointed with the judgement but it but has no intention to appeal it at this stage even though it has grounds to do so. We feel as a department that the judgment didn’t take into account the crux of the matter, which is the integrity and the credibility of the examination which was the main argument in the papers that were presented to the court.”

Earlier, it was reported that it remained to be seen whether quality assurer Umalusi would certify the 2020 National Senior Certificate exams.

In its court papers, Umalusi argued a rewrite was the only option to ensure the marks of matriculants were credible as it found the leaked papers to be irrevocably compromised.

Lawyer at AfriForum Willie Spies said, “What may still be an issue is the decision of Umalusi as to whether or not they’ll certify the examinations.”

Student body Congress of South African Students (Cosas) also welcomed the ruling, saying it was a victory for matriculants who did not cheat in the final exams.

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