Picture: INDEPENDENT MEDIA
Durban - The protracted battle between the Department of Education and Mashiyamahle High School in Ndwedwe is far from over, with the pupils demanding the release of their original results that were withheld for four years due to allegations of cheating.

Instead, the department last week opted to release a combination of the learners’ original and supplementary results.

“After the allegations, we wrote supplementary exams in 2015. We no longer want the supplementary exams - we want our original results,” said one of the former pupils, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Mashiyamahle 2014 matric pupils were among several schools implicated in group cheating. More than 150 pupils, including part-time learners, were affected.

Results in maths, physical science, life science and accounting were withheld.

Since then, the pupils, through their parents, have launched a court action against the department to demand the release. The case has been delayed due to a change of lawyers.

In August, the community locked the school gates, which led to the suspension of school principal Mthembeni Ntanzi on allegations of inciting pupils and the community against the department.

The department announced last week that the results had been released and were available at the district office, not the school.

In a statement it said it had received the certificates of the 2014 candidates from Umalusi. The certificates received for Mashiyamahle are bachelor passes, diploma passes, higher certificate passes and subject certificate passes.

It said those who wanted to improve their results could register by January 31.

Another pupil who spoke to The Mercury said the delays had destroyed his life.

“I wanted to study maritime studies at Durban University of Technology. That dream is dying. I cannot do anything without a matric certificate.”

He said he was aware the department was releasing results but was not sure which results, saying he would accept nothing but his original marks.

Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the results were a combination of the subjects passed in 2014 not implicated in cheating and the supplementary results.

He said some pupils chose not to write the supplementary exams, and they had received subject certificates.

Mahlambi said they were unhappy at how the school conducted itself.

“When the allegations surfaced, we launched an investigation to either find evidence or exonerate them. They did not want to participate, which made them look guilty.

“The pupils have been hostile, which makes us believe they were coached not to co-operate, and that is why we suspended the principal. We suspect he incites the pupils against the department,” he said.

The Mercury