Pretoria - The release of the 2016 matric examination results has been approved, despite a pending investigation into leaked exam papers in Limpopo and Gauteng. - Get your matric results first on News24Umalusi, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, said on Thursday that it was "satisfied that the examinations were fair, valid and credible"."We commend the Department of Basic Education (DBE) for running a successful and credible examination process. Accordingly, we hereby approve the release of the results of the National Senior Certificate," Umalusi chairperson Professor John Volmink told reporters in Pretoria. This year's examinations, however, were marred by group copying in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga, and the leak of a paper at two schools in Limpopo. In 2015, there were also leaked papers in Limpopo, which eventually spilled over into Gauteng and Mpumalanga."Investigations by a task team established by the minister of basic education (Angie Motshekga) to identify the source of the security breach and the extent of the spread confirmed a leakage in Mathematics Paper 2 in two schools in Limpopo," Volmink said. Investigation He said there was also a police and Hawks investigation running concurrently with that of the task team. He commended Motshekga for her swift action in dealing with the problem, but added that the results of learners who were implicated would be withheld. The 2016 class was the third Grade 12 cohort to write a final examination under the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (Caps), he said. He said this year's Grade 12 saw an increase of 40 000 students who passed.Umalusi was impressed by the improvement in the marking system by the education department. "The quality of marking is a very important aspect of the integrity and credibility of the examination. It is pleasing to see the measures put into place to carefully select and train markers."While the 2015 results showed a decline, this year's results moved closer to average historical profile, he said.