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Judge says matrics don’t have to re-write two subject

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Next week’s proposed rewrite of the leaked maths 2 and physical science 2 exams are off the table, says Judge Norman Davis who said the decision that pupils had to rewrite was ’irregular and unlawful’ and ordered that the papers had to be marked.

Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria – Next week’s proposed rewrite of the leaked maths 2 and physical science 2 exams are off the table.

The Gauteng High Court Pretoria on Friday ordered that none of these papers will be written on Tuesday and Thursday respectively. Judge Norman Davis has reviewed and set aside the decision by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

He said the decision, as it stands, for the exams to be written on 15 and 17 December, is one which no reasonable person would have taken, when all the facts are considered.

“The attempted justification of these dates, furnished by the DG, in answer to all the prejudices raised by the applicants, that these prejudices suffered amount to a mere ’inconvenience’ or ’smokescreen’ smacks of carelessness,” the judge said.

The judgment followed an urgent application this week by four separate groups – three of which consisted of various matrics who had to rewrite these subjects and the other by the South African Democratic Teachers Union.

While some of the arguments and the relief sought differed slightly, all the applications boiled down to the same thing: that the decision made by Motshekga last week, that the two leaked exam question papers be rewritten by all matrics, be overturned or that she be interdicted from going ahead with her decision.

A host of advocates involved in the four applications argued for most of Thursday, asking the court to declare the minister’s decision as being irrational.

Judge Davis was told by the applicants that Umalusi was behind the decision to rewrite the exams after the exam leaks came to light. He was told that the minister was “bullied” by Umalusi to decide the rewrite.

The minister, on the other hand, maintained that she merely made the announcement, but the the director general of the department made the decision. Both she and Umalusi said the rewrite was essential to maintain the integrity of the exams.

IOL