Minister Confirms National Matric Rewrite

Following the leak of 3 matric papers, the Department of Basic Education has made a tough decision for the class of 2020. Two exam papers will be rewritten, this the first national rewrite in the history of matric exams.

Maths paper 2 will be rewritten on Tuesday 15 December at 14:00 and Physical Sciences Paper 2 will be rewritten on Thursday 17 December at 09:00. 

“At least 195 learners that we established had access to the maths paper. What we could not establish is the extent that these 195 shared the question paper,” said Rufus Poliah, Basic Education Chief Director of National Assessment and Public Examinations.

The Business studies paper, which was also leaked, will not be rewritten as the department found out about the leak a few days before the paper was scheduled to be written. 

The situation was contained and learners were given a backup paper on the day of the exam. 

“It has been a very costly exercise but we needed to act fast in the interest of the learners. We had to shred all papers. It was a very costly exercise in terms of time, human resources” said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. 

Three options were identified for the department:

  • Option 1: national rewrite for both papers 
  • Option 2: selected/contained rewrite  (treat maths & physical sciences separately)
  • Option 3: No rewrite for both papers

Umalusi, the independent body that declares examinations as free and fair said the investigation into the leaked papers is not complete and cannot be completed.

This is because the full extent of the spread cannot be determined in the time available.

“Therefore Umalusi has established that the Integrity of the exams has been irrevocably compromised”

Minister Motshekga said it was not easy for the department to reach this decision. 

"It was not an easy decision but we felt it was very necessary under the circumstances. We need to work to deal with the human element in the exams process” said the Minister. 



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