Afriforum Says It Would Be Stupid For DBE To Appeal No Rewrite Ruling

The High Court in Pretoria determined that the Department of Basic Education's decision to rewrite the two leaked exam papers was unlawful and irregular, Afriforum says it would be foolish for the DBE to appeal this decision. 

The ruling by Judge Norman Davis to set aside the rewrite of the Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Sciences Paper 2 leaked final matric examinations was welcomed by Afriforum and teachers' unions. This is because Afriforum and Sadtu brought urgent applications before the court to challenge the decision of the DBE who set the rewrites. 

The Council of Education Ministers (CEM) said in a statement released on Saturday that it decided that the two leaked papers would not be rewritten however it will be approaching the court so that the integrity, credibility and fairness would be properly addressed. 

DBE Spokesperson Elijah Mahlanga said: 

“CEM will, however, still pursue the matter seeing that the court did not deal with the crux of the matter, which is the credibility, integrity and fairness of the 2020 National Senior Certificate examinations.”

The DBE worries about whether the quality assurer Umalusi will approve the NSC exam papers to be credible when results are released next year.

Afriforum lawyer, Wille Spies says:

"It would be very stupid for the department to try and appeal this matter."

He says that a problem that remains is whether Umalusi will certify the examinations. 

The Congress of South African Students (COSAS) says that this ruling comes as a relief as the matric learners have been through a lot this year. 

"We are delighted about the sober decision taken by the High Court in Pretoria that the rewriting be scrapped."-COSAS National spokesperson, Douglas Ngobeni

Sadtu General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke says that the union believed that the decision to make all matric learners rewrite the leaked exams was unfair and premature as no concrete evidence had been found in the investigation yet. 

"Based on the initial investigation which showed that the number of learners who may have seen the paper are less than 195 out of the 339 000 who wrote the maths paper which translate to less than 0, 06% and an even lower percentage in respect of the physical science paper, there was no basis for a national rewrite,” Mugwena said in a statement.

In Judge Norman Davis' ruling he said:

"there was no rational basis why the proposals by all stakeholders that a final decision on rewriting should only be taken once the further investigations have been concluded, should not be the way to go.”

Sadtu and other unions like The National Professional Tecahers' Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) agreed that the court's decision proved their stance on the matter. 

The investigation by the Hawks regarding the leaks is continuing and some arrests have been made. 

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