2020 Matric Exams 'Were Not Compromised' Says Report

Minister Angie Motshekga

The Matric final exams of 2020 were marred with controversy when it was announced that two exam papers had been leaked before they were written. The Education Department wanted the papers to be re-written but the courts ruled against them. An investigation had to be held to determine whether the final exam marks could be released. The 1 million learners who wrote the exams will be glad to know that the report has now been released.


Because the leaking of three exam papers for the Matric final exams of 2020 the Department of Basic Education tasked the National Irregularities Committee to investigate.

That committee, headed by High Amoore, has now completed its report and presented it to the Department. The findings were presented at a media briefing on Sunday afternoon.

The investigation confirmed that there were two leaks.

The first leak occurred from one province's contract printers. The individual concerned has been identified and has already appeared in court. 

When the individual was found to have the papers it was too late to replace two of the exam papers before they were written. A third paper which the individual had was replaced before the exam was written.

A second leak was from the government printers - which prints for two of the provinces.  That leak is being investigated further. 

The investigation found no problems occurred during the storage or distribution.

How Many Learners Had Prior Access To The Leaked Exam Papers?

Matric Exams Leak Investigation

Parts of the exam papers were spread by learners via Whatsapp chatrooms. 

Chat room A had 135 learners - all part of a special group for talented learners.  Only 2 questions were sent to this chat room at about 10pm on the Sunday night before the exam, which was to be written the next morning. The learners were all interviewed and many denied even opening the message before the exam. 

No evidence was found that these candidates benefitted from prior access - if they had it.  

Total of 236 learners were able to receive the Maths paper before it was written.

The number of learners who wrote the Physical Science paper was smaller.

Another part of the investigation looked into the marks that the candidates received to see if there was any outperformance in Paper 2 compared to Paper 1. 

It would appear an outperformance is only observed in 2 candidates. The rest performed as they would have been expected to .

There was no visible impact on the Physical Science results to show any impact of leak on the results.

The findings of the investigation were:

Widespread leaks of the exam papers did not occur.

There has been no compromise to the marks as a whole

Next Step

The report of the National Irregularities Committee was presented to Umalusi two days ago. Umalusi will hold a public briefing tomorrow about the exam results.

This is a developing story

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