The first matric exam paper for 2015 has been leaked, according to the Department of Basic Education.

eNCA reporter Lirandzu Themba tweeted that minister Angie Motshekga announced at a matric exams briefing in Polokwane, Limpopo that her department has received information that the Life Sciences exam was leaked before learners were scheduled to write it.

The briefing was originally scheduled to update the public on a crisis flagged by the DA involving a delay in the printing of exam papers for grades 10 and 11.

Preliminary information revealed that the paper arrived two days earlier than scheduled and that two learners leaked the paper, Motshekga said. It is not clear whether the two had an actual hard copy of the paper or photos of it.  

The national matric exams were rocked by a major cheating scandal last year when learners in seven of the country’s province were found to have cheated by copying each other’s work and received assistance from invigilators.

A task team has been appointed to investigate the Limpopo matric leak and establish how far it has spread. If the leak is found to be quite widespread, it could mean that all learners in the district where this happened or even the entire Limpopo province will have to rewrite the exam.

Officials who are found to have been part of the leak will face criminal charges, Motshekga said.

The department has said it will “leave no stone unturned” in its investigations.

Recent cheating scandals have not been an issue limited to high schools; in September this year, exam papers were leaked via WhatsApp across 50 technical and vocational education training (TVET) colleges around the country.

Motshekga has described the current incident as sad and disappointing.

[Image – Department of Basic Education Facebook]