South Africa, Pretoria – Gauteng High Court, Pretoria Judge Norman Davis, hearing the application to overturn the rewrite of two exam papers next week.
Judge Norman Davis questioned whether the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga ever considered what would be the least inconvenient for the learners when she ordered the rewrite.
The judge asked why did she decide that they had to rewrite the maths and science two papers next week, and for example did not give them until early January to rewrite these papers.
He pointed out to advocate Chris Erasmus, acting for the minister, that some pupils who stayed in hostels had returned home and others were on their way to go on holiday while one of the applicants said she was getting married this weekend.
“Did the minister consider all of this?” he asked.
Erasmus argued that the minister had reasoned that the facts of these two papers were still fresh in the memories of these pupils and the least inconvenient route was for them to write next week, while the exams were still ongoing. “You don’t want a learner to switch off and return at a later date to rewrite the exams,” he said.
Advocate Etienne Ferreira, acting for some of the pupils, meanwhile argued while we were facing a second Covid-19 wave, yet another exam may prove to be a super-spreader event.
Ferreira also blamed Umalusi for taking the decision that the exams had to be rewritten. “Instead of being the watchdog, Umalusi started biting,” he said.
All the applicants in the four different applications have delivered their arguments. The minister’s argument is presented next followed by the argument on behalf of Umalusi.