Matric pupils across the country will have to rewrite the Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Science Paper 2 exams after the papers were leaked, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga announced on Friday.
The Business Studies exam was also leaked, but it was not written because the back-up paper was used.
"We have agreed as [Council of Education Ministers] CEM that there must be a national rewrite of the Maths Paper 2 and Physical Science Paper 2," said Motshekga, who said that she felt a lump in her throat.
It is the first time in our history that we have a national rewrite.
"We have had provincial rewrites, but it is the first time ever that we find ourselves having to do a national rewrite," said the minister.
"It was a very difficult decision and ... sad decision to take."
The Maths paper will be written on Tuesday, 15 December at 14:00, while the Physical Science paper will be written on Thursday, 17 December at 09:00.
The decision to rewrite the exams comes after a three-tiered investigation by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to track down the source of the leak.
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Last week, Themba Daniel Shikwambana, 31, was arrested following a Hawks Serious Corruption Unit investigation into the alleged theft of the Maths Paper 2.
Shikwambana works for a Johannesburg-based company that is contracted to the DBE to print the 2020 matric exam papers, said Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale.
"We welcome the arrest that has been made and we hope more arrests will follow. We really need to send a strong message that tampering with national examination is a serious offence," said Motshekga.
Exams started on 5 November.
The DBE is expected to release the final results on 22 February, after schools have reopened.