The department of basic education is hiring a private investigator to track down the culprit who sent sections of a matric maths exam paper as a WhatsApp message to a Limpopo pupil.
Pictures of a section of the paper were sent to a pupil from Giyani High School last Sunday, a day before the maths paper two exam was to be written.
A parent of a pupil at Giyani High School told the Mail & Guardian on Thursday that the sender of the message asked the pupil to help solve the maths questions.
“The pupil innocently sent it to other pupils from one of the classes who belonged to a WhatsApp study group. They [the group] did not know that the picture of the question paper was the real question paper that they would be sitting for the following day,” the parent said.
Troy Martens, spokesperson for the department of basic education, said on Friday that at this stage it was likely that between 12 and 20 pupils, who were implicated in being in possession of the leaked questions, would rewrite the exam.
These would include pupils from one of the maths classes at Giyani High as well as some learners from two or three of the neighbouring schools who also received the WhatsApp message from Giyani High pupils.
The department briefed the media in Polokwane on Friday on the progress made in the investigation into the leaked maths paper.
Martens said that someone in Gauteng had sent the leaked questions to the Limpopo pupil.
“No Limpopo-based exam official handled the question papers or had access to the exams.”
Said Martens: “We want to make sure we get a prosecution.
We really want to locate the source and we want to ensure that this goes through the criminal justice system.”
She said the Hawks were also busy with the investigation.
“The matric exams are protected by law. It’s illegal to tamper with them. We need to ensure we have the right evidence in place so that we can go ahead and prosecute once we have located the source,” she said.