-A WhatsApp group chat involving several matric pupils that took place more than two hours before the maths paper 2 was written on Monday contained pictures of 10 questions that appeared in the exam.
Celebgossip.co.za has learnt that the chats lasted 80 minutes, from 6.36am until 7.56am on the morning of the paper.
The paper, written by more than 391,000 candidates, started at 9am and ended at 12pm.
Two maths teachers confirmed to the Sunday Times that the 10 questions posted on the group chat were identical to the ones that appeared in the exam paper.
The leak — and revelations by the department of basic education that “pockets of learners” in eight provinces had access to the paper before the exam — has pupils on tenterhooks over fears that they may have to rewrite the paper.
A team appointed to probe the source and extent of the leak has been given until November 30 to indicate whether all or only a selected number of candidates will have to rewrite the paper.
In the WhatsApp conversations, at 6.41am one of the pupils asks: “Guys why aren’t u sending the whole paper or memo.”
Another comment at 6.43am: “Why is he/she not sending it bez I thought here we are helping one another why now.”
At 7.10am a pupil says: “Guys can anyone who got those pictures which were deleted share them please.”
A pupil says at 7.39am, “I just got the paper,” to which another replies, “Tjo so late we’re dead.”
Forty minutes after the paper was written, a pupil asks: “Is physical science included in this group.”
The physical science paper was written on Friday.
At 12.44pm a pupil says: “Bro thanks you saved us i got a distinction.”
Another pupil says: “Mina i saw late guyz,” while another commented: “Are you not scared of getting caught.”
Maths experts have warned that ordering all pupils to rewrite the paper 2 would be “ethically questionable” as the majority of honest pupils should not be punished for the “criminal act of a few”.
Marc Schäfer, a professor of mathematics education at Rhodes University, said the grade 12 cohort has already had to endure a very compromised school year due to the Covid pandemic, which had a negative impact on teaching and learning.
“To now bring them back to rewrite an exam is very questionable and adds unnecessary stress to an already stretched matric cohort of pupils,” he said.
Only 0.4% of maths pupils achieved 90% or more in last year’s exams.
Basic education department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga told the Sunday Times that some matric pupils who received the leaked paper have come forward to report this to their principals.
“We are going through the reports with an open mind and at the right time a determinationwill be made onwhat is a lead orwhat’s not,” said Mhlanga.
As the investigative team probes the leak of maths paper 2, the KwaZulu-Natal education department said on Friday that it is investigating an allegation that the maths paper 1, written last Thursday, had also been leaked.
The provincial education department’s spokesperson, Muzi Mahlambi, said an anonymous source had indicated that pupils at two schools on the south coast had been in possession of the paper before it was written.
On Tuesday, Sunday Times Daily reported that the basic education department had confirmed that it “looked into allegations” that the maths paper 1 had leaked, after screenshots of it appeared on social media.
But Mhlanga said on Friday that there is “no evidence” that the paper was leaked.
The department’s chief director for assessment and public exams, Rufus Poliah, said during a briefing this week that the extent of the leak “will determine whether the rewrite is a national rewrite or a localised rewrite”.