A Durban North father fought to get his son’s matric Afrikaans paper remarked after he was held back in Grade 11 due to his poor exam result.
Three percent might not sound like much, but for one Durban father it was worth going to court for.
 
The father on Monday approached the city's high court with an urgent application against his son's school in Durban North, the school principal as well as the MEC for Education in KwaZulu-Natal, Mthandeni Dlungwana.
 
In his founding affidavit, the man said his son failed geography and Afrikaans last year, and thus Grade 11, but he believed that his Afrikaans mark was the result of marking errors.
 
He had approached both the school and the department in a bid to get a re-mark but was unsuccessful.
 
The man said after his son was advised that he had failed, he was called to a meeting with the deputy principal and the grade head.
 
“I was informed that the school was not prepared to assist my son,” he said.
 
“The deputy principal stated at that meeting that had it been another child (in my son’s) situation, the school would have assisted him. 
 
“This statement concerned me and I questioned my son. He informed me that he had had a few encounters (with the deputy principal) over the years while he was grade head. 
 
“It was clear to me that due to these encounters and the statement (made by the deputy principal), my son was being victimised.”
 
The man met with the principal to ask her if they could re-mark the paper to find the 3% that was required for him to pass, he said.
 
But, he went on, he was referred to a department official, who he struggled to reach.
 
He said he took his son's work to an independent Afrikaans teacher, who identified various discrepancies.
 
In another affidavit deposed to by the independent Afrikaans teacher, he stated: “In summary, I found that the (man's) son ought to have been awarded an extra 5% to 8%, which would increase his final term mark to between 32% and 35%, with the result that he would've passed Grade 11 and been promoted to Grade 12.”
 
The man said he finally managed to make contact with the department early last month.
 
“My son's results may not have been the best but he would have passed Afrikaans if the proper marking process was followed,” the father said.
 
The case came before Judge Johan Ploos van Amstel, who granted an order by consent in which the school undertook to re-mark the paper within five days.
 
The matter was adjourned indefinitely and the costs of the application were reserved.