The National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa

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The National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) is a registered trade union and the second largest union in the education sector

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NAPTOSA welcomes the judgement by the Gauteng Division of the High Court today, 11 December 2020, that the Minister’s decision to order a national rewrite of the leaked Mathematics and Physical Science 2 Papers, was not only irregular but also unlawful.

The judgement is a vindication of NAPTOSA’s stance on the matter which we recorded during the consultation meeting with the Minister. We called it an overreaction in view of the available evidence of the known number of learners that had sight of the exam papers before the exams. Although the judgement is based on the fact that the Minister’s decision falls foul of section 6(2)(h) of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, a reading the judgement confirms that the Court also sees the Minister’s decision as an “overreaction”. According to Judge Davis “The complaints of injustice resulting from subjecting literally hundreds of thousands of innocent learners to a rewriting process are, to my mind, justified by the current negligible known extent of the number of learners who may have benefitted from the leaked papers”

In the end sanity prevailed and we commend the court for a sober consideration of the facts. We trust that the Minister or Director -General (DG) – it appears that there is even confusion as to who actually took the decision- will not, as is often the case when the State is involved, rush to appeal the judgement. We believe that both the Minister and the DG know deep down that this has been the correct outcome for a very unfortunate situation. We call on them to accept the judgement and to rather expend their energies on seeing that those responsible for the leaks be brought to justice and to leave it to the Irregularities Committee to deal with the matter.

From the judgement, it is clear that Umalusi played a significant role in the decision to order a national rewrite. We therefore implore Unalusi to also accept the judgement and not to allow the (limited) leakages to cloud their decision on certification of the 2020 NSC examination.