News & Media

Unisa Statement on investigations into leaked examination question papers

The University of South Africa (Unisa) has noted the ensuing news reporting and running commentary on electronic, print and social media platforms pertaining to the leaking of some of the examination question papers for the October/November 2019 examination period. The university condemns in the strongest terms these acts of criminality which undermine the efforts of students and lecturers alike.

The university has also noted and taken to heart the concerns raised by students and other concerned stakeholders about the perceived slow pace of finding a solution to the problem of question paper leakages; including the resultant frustration and inconvenience visited upon innocent students.

The university wishes to assure all stakeholders that it takes this matter very seriously; and that its investigations into the leakages, conducted jointly with the South African Police Services (SAPS); is at an advanced stage and a breakthrough in this regard is imminent. 

The investigation has identified the individual at the centre of this illegal activity and the police are on his trail. Students and other stakeholders are also requested that if they become aware of any individuals involved in the buying and/or selling of leaked examination question papers, they should report this to the police or the Whistle-blowers Hotline at 0860 00 5050 (toll-free) or information@whistleblowing.co.za.

The university has also taken cognisance of student complaints about telephone calls and sms’es received from private tutors offering services such as tutorial classes, examination preparation sessions as well as access to examination scopes. Whilst these tutors are not attached to Unisa in any way, the university has resolved to immediately conduct a forensic audit to determine how such private individuals gain access to information about the university and its students. Decisive action will be taken swiftly to deal with perpetrators as well as put measures in place to prevent a recurrence of this phenomenon.         

We also reiterate our previous statements issued in this regard that any staff member, student or external person found to have participated in any illegal conduct will be dealt with harshly. In the case of staff and students of the university, they will be subjected to both the university’s relevant disciplinary processes as well as prosecution by the criminal justice system.

The Principal and Vice Chancellor has directed that additional security measures be put in place immediately and has appointed a high-level team to conduct further investigations and review the current systems and process. Already additional measures have been put in place.

The Principal and Vice Chancellor wishes to thank in particular the students who have come forward to assist with the investigations which have led to the breakthrough in the police investigations. The Principal and Vice Chancellor commends the bravery and honesty of these students who refuse to earn their degrees through criminal activity.

The university has also made progress in its bid to identify and close any loopholes and strengthen control measures with regard to the production and distribution of examination question papers to the various examination centres. Amongst the measures put in place with immediate effect, and which only relevant university officials are privy to; is the change in the delivery mode and timing of all examination question papers as well as improved checks and balances relating to the receiving and opening of examination question paper packages at the examination centres.  

Publish date: 2019/11/18