January 22, 2021


AfricaTopForum – News Around Africa

Breaking: Leaked matric exam papers to be rewritten – DBE

2 min read

While the news of two leaked matric exam papers came with shock and worry in recent weeks, the Department of Basic Education and the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) has now resorted to fix the issue by holding a national rewrite. 

Two matric exam papers, Maths Paper 2 and Physical Sciences Paper 2, were leaked in recent weeks. There was talk that the Business Studies paper had also been leaked, however, the DBE said it was able to act fast to replace the paper.  


Having considered all of these factors, the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) decided that a national rewrite of both Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Sciences Paper 2 is necessary.

Mathematics Paper will now be written on Tuesday 15 December 2020 at 14:00, and Physical Sciences Paper 2 will be written on Thursday 17 December 2020 at 9:00.

“It was not an easy decision to take but one which is necessary under the circumstances. We need to work hard to deal with the human factor in the examination system,” said Motshekga. 

She went on to say that the people responsible for leaking the matric exam question papers are adults.

“CEM appreciates the work being done by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, The Hawks. We welcome the arrest that has been made and we hope more arrests will follow. We really need to send a strong message that tampering with national examination is a serious offence,” she added. 


Motshekga said the CEM considered the preliminary report focusing on the extent of the leakage of the matric exam papers so that a recommendation could be made on the remedial action to be taken.

She said some of the key findings are that the viral spread of information on the cyber networks made it virtually impossible to accurately identify the number of learners that have had access to the leaked question papers.

“We consulted key stakeholders on the matter; from school governing body associations, school principals association, teacher unions and the quality assurance agency, UMALUSI. There was convergence on the need to protect the integrity of the examination and to expose the culprits who place the lives of our learners at risk,” she said. 

Having considered all of the factors, the CEM eventually decided that a national rewrite of the two matric exam papers was absolutely necessary.