national senior certificate marking

The missing National Senior Certificate papers have been found in the Free State. Image via Adobe Stock

Investigations into leaked matric papers not yet complete – DBE

There has been a matric exam paper leak every Monday for the last three weeks – Maths Paper 2, Physical Sciences Paper 2 and Life Sciences.

national senior certificate marking

The missing National Senior Certificate papers have been found in the Free State. Image via Adobe Stock

Investigations into the leaks of three matric exam papers are not yet complete according to the Department of Basic Education. The department released a statement on Tuesday saying that more work still needs to be done in that regard. 

This comes after a third matric paper was leaked on Monday — the Life sciences paper. 


The Council of Education Ministers held a special meeting on Tuesday morning to receive the preliminary report into the leaked matric exam question papers. In the last meeting of the CEM Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga indicated that the preliminary report would be received on 30 November 2020. 

Earlier on Tuesday 1 December the CEM deliberated on the report and noted that the investigation into the matric paper leaks had not yet been completed and that more work still needed to be done. 

The council agreed that the credibility, integrity and fairness of the examination cannot be compromised. 

“CEM acknowledged the complex nature of the investigation. CEM also appreciated the work being done by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, the Hawks to assist the Department in the investigation,” the department said. 

The report will now be processed internally and Motshekga will host a media briefing later this week to make an announcement. 


On Monday 30 November 2020, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said that following the leak of the Matric Maths Paper 2 and the Physical Sciences Paper 2, another paper was leaked; namely the Life Sciences paper. 

“The department has launched investigations into the leaking of three exam papers. The latest one is Life Sciences and the team is working on that one. These are national papers and the national minister [Angie Motshekga] is responsible for the exam, but we are worried that there are people who think they can undermine the credibility of the exam,” he said. 

“The exam remains intact. Our invigilators have been working hard in ensuring a smooth administration of our matric examinations, and making sure that the integrity is not compromised,” he added. 


Prior to the dreaded news of the Life Sciences paper, the Maths Paper 2 and the Physical Sciences Matric paper 2 was leaked. 

It all started on 16 November — about two weeks ago. The department announced that the Maths Paper 2 was leaked shortly before the exam was to be written. 

DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga, at the time, said the origins of the leak were not yet clear but the matric candidates who had access to the question paper appeared to be located in the Limpopo and Gauteng provinces.

“The Department verified the content of the question paper and found it to be the same as the question paper that was to be written at 9:00,” said Mhlanga.  

“The Department of Basic Education is investigating the matter to establish the extent of the leak. Early sources point to the confinement of the leakage to a few learners located in these two provinces,” he added. 

Exactly one week later on 23 November, the Physical Sciences 2 Matric paper was leaked. In other words, a matric exam paper has been leaked every Monday for the past three weeks in a row, hours before the exams are to be written.