Court hears of threats against witnesses in matric paper leak case

2016-11-23 22:25
(File, Gallo Images)

(File, Gallo Images)

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Giyani - The Giyani Magistrate's Court in Limpopo heard that witnesses in a matric examination paper leak scandal are receiving deaths threats.

Investigators said the threats are hampering their work and have put fear in pupils who are now scared to help police investigate.

Hawks investigating officer Captain Mashudu Munyai told the court on Wednesday that key witnesses had been threatened through phone calls and SMS.

"Some of the witnesses are receiving phone and messages because they gave information and statements to the police and are going to be killed [sic]," said Munyai.

Munyai was testifying during the bail application of New Era College owner Tinyiko Khosa, 52, who is facing theft and corruption charges.

Khosa has vowed to plead not guilty and denies claims that he distributed the paper to pupils at his school.

2 000 pupils may have seen paper

The Department of Basic Education opened a case against Khosa after the leak.

At least 2 000 pupils allegedly saw mathematics paper II before they sat for the examination on October 31.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga expressed disappointment over the leak, saying it could jeopardise the credibility of the class of 2016.

Motshekga earlier told a media briefing that the leaked paper had its front page removed.

Munyai said Khosa distributed the paper to unsuspecting pupils.

"He hand-delivered the paper to the pupils so that they could have knowledge before pupils write examination," added Munyai.

'They are afraid'

The State is opposing Khosa's bid to be released on bail, saying if he is released on bail he will prejudice police investigations.

It is alleged that at least two pupils who are enrolled at Khosa's New Era College in Malamulele are living in fear for their lives.

According to police, the message sent to witnesses indicates that there will be repercussions for them since they have chosen to comply with police investigators.

"They are afraid that if the accused is released, they will not be able to finish writing examinations," said Munyai.

But Khosa insisted that he does not know any of the witnesses and will not intimidate witnesses who reside at his school's boarding facility.

The case has been postponed overnight for judgment.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  education

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