The High Court in Pretoria has set aside the decision to rewrite the Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Sciences exams, following a leak of the exams papers. 

Last week, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that the 2020 matriculants would rewrite the two exams after quality assurance council Umalusi concluded that the integrity and credibility of the paper had been irrevocably compromised.

The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), civil rights organisation AfriForum and other interested parties approached the court to have the decision to rewrite overturned.

Judge Norman Davis handed down judgment on Friday afternoon where he set aside the decision taken by the Basic Education Department for a national rewrite.

“I therefore conclude that the decision to have the Math II and Physical Science II papers of the National Senior Certificate examination of 2020 rewritten was irregular and unlawful and should be reviewed and set aside.

“I further conclude that the learners have a right to have their exam papers marked in terms of regulation 45, which provide for such right, irrespective of whatever proposal or certifications may be made by Umalusi,” he said.

Umalusi had based its decision on the inability to accurately determine the extent of the leak of the exam papers. The quality assurance council said due to the nature of the leak through messenger service WhatsApp, it was impossible to determine the extent of the leak.

The Mathematics Paper was due to be written on Tuesday, 15 December 2020 and Physical Sciences Paper 2 on Thursday 17 December 2020.

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