Picture: Jason Boud

Durban -

Last year’s matric pupils who have taken the Department of Basic Education to court will not know their fate for another year, while those who confessed to cheating will sit for the exams in less than three weeks with the class of 2015.

Department of Basic Education spokesman, Elijah Mhlanga, said there were at least six schools that had taken the department to court over alleged group copying in last year’s matric exams.

One of the six schools was Mashiyamahle High School in Ndwedwe, where 139 pupils brought an application before the Durban High Court to force the department to release their results earlier this year.

“Those who have taken the matter to court we cannot do anything until the matter has been dealt with, and that might be next year,” he said.

“Those who owned up to cheating will be given an opportunity to write again this year”.

The department extended an olive branch to pupils who admitted guilt.

“For those who continue to deny they cheated, their hearings are not yet concluded as there are sometimes challenges with the availability of people who sit in the hearings,” he said.

Sadtu general secretary, Mugwena Maluleke, said the group copying had tarnished the image of the country.

“It’s quite embarrassing because our children are the future. You can imagine if the results are not credible what kind of society we are building, that you would as a teacher, as a professional, be involved in group copying… to me that is unethical,” he said.

“Many people rely on our Grade 12 results because that is the only measurement we have for them to open the doors. If we tarnish that by even allowing two questions to be copied, it destroys credibility.”

He called on the department to investigate and discipline those teachers found to have been implicated.