The 2014 matric class of a KwaZulu-Natal high school, who were accused of cheating in their exams, have still not received their results despite a court ruling ordering that they receive them. They are now seeking an order that the national and provincial education ministers be jailed for contempt of court.
The application, which came before Durban High Court Judge Rashid Vahed on Tuesday, September 5, was adjourned until next week.
The minister and the MEC were ordered to pay the wasted costs of the adjournment.
The pupils, from Ndwedwe, just outside Durban, first went to court in 2015, seeking the release of their results so they could "get on with their lives".
In his affidavit before the court, former pupil Thabo Mokoena denied any cheating and said all the exams were conducted under the strict supervision of a full-time monitor sent by the education department and a chief invigilator, assisted by eight others.
He said when the matric results were released on January 6 this year, the names of 59 candidates from the school, including his, were listed in the newspaper as having passed.
But when he went to school to get his result, the principal told everyone their results had been "blocked" because of irregularities.
He said hearings for candidates accused of "copying" were set down for January 20 and 22 this year.
They were told the subjects involved were maths, English, life science and physical science, and the candidates were interrogated.
The outcome of the investigation was supposed to be released early that year.
In his latest affidavit, which came before Judge Vahed, Mokoena says, to date, the results have not been released.
He said an order had been taken in October last year, in terms of which disciplinary hearings were to be held before the end of December.
A statement of results was to be given to the school's principal by November 2016, to be passed on to quality council Umalusi to assess them and decide whether or not to issue certificates.
In spite of the order being taken by consent and in the presence of legal representatives of all parties, there had been no compliance.
Mokoena said it was only in February this year that the department of education requested dates on which the hearings could be held.
His attorney had written back saying that in terms of the order it was "too late".
"We had suffered too much and we were not willing to waive our rights to indulge them whatsoever. He also demanded the statement of results," he said.
But there was no response to this at all.
Unable 'to find jobs'
The next day an official arrived at the attorney's office with a bundle of "notice hearings", which the attorney refused to accept.
In March, the attorney received another bundle -- this time it was a statement of results of 178 people. It did not contain a full list of the applicants.
In one instance, an applicant's name was repeated twice with the wrong examination number, and 41 of the names reflected were not applicants involved in the matter.
There was more correspondence over the ensuing months, but there was still no compliance with the order.
Mokoena said the minister and the MEC were acting in bad faith.
"We have not been able to find jobs of any meaningful nature and we have not been able to enroll at any higher educational institution because of this," he said.
He said the minister and the MEC should be found to be in contempt of court and sent to jail for 30 days.
Alternatively, the sentence could be suspended on condition that they comply immediately with the order.