Now Mashiyamahle High School's class of 2014 has gone to the Durban High Court in a bid to have a judge send the Minister of Basic Education - along with the KwaZulu-Natal MEC - to jail for 30 days.
They want the pair found in contempt of a 2016 court order which, they say, compels the department to hand over their results.
Alternatively, they want the judge to suspend the minister and the MEC’s jail terms for two years, on condition that they get their results.
“We have now waited for more than a reasonable period of time and we are frustrated by the (department's) failure to respect and to comply with the order,” one of the affected young men, Thabo Mokoena, said in court papers.
He said: “None of (us) have been able to solicit any employment of any meaningful nature since the date on which the results were withheld and none of us were able to enrol at any post secondary educational institutions.”
Mokoena and his peers first took the matter to court in 2015.
They were accused of cheating in their matric exams.
Mokoena explained that when their results were released, the names of 59 candidates from Mashiyamahle - including himself - were listed in the newspaper as having passed.
But when they went to school to get their results, the principal told them they had been “blocked” due to irregularities.
An investigation ensued, the results of which were supposed to be released at the end of January 2015, in time for enrolment for higher education.
But they were still outstanding and Mokoena and the others were told that those alleged to have cheated had to rewrite the exams, starting two days later, which was “patently unfair”.
Last year, a high court judge ordered that the department convene hearings for all those who wished to participate on or before December 31, 2016.
Thereafter, Umalusi was to decide whether or not their matric certificates should be issued.
The department was also directed to provide those affected with statements of results, indicating which of their results were being withheld, within 21 days of the order.
Mokoena said in the contempt application the department only contacted them in February to arrange dates for hearings.
“Our attorney emphasised it was too late for any hearings to be convened, that we suffered too much and that we were not willing to waive our rights or to indulge (the department) whatsoever,” he said.
He said in March they were given a “a bundle of results of 178 persons”.
“Forty-one of the names reflected are not (ours). I do not know who these persons are,” he said.
He said these were still not the full results. The matter was adjourned to next week.
Spokesperson for Education in KwaZulu-Natal Kwazi Mthethwa said on Wednesday that they were waiting for the court to advise them on the next step.