African News

Matric exam leak: Rewrite will be last resort, says department as it starts probe



  • Only the Free State has not received a report of the leak at this stage.
  • The department says it will be making use of the Hawks and IT experts in its probe. 
  • Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said a rewrite would only happen if the department and Umalusi felt the integrity of the examination was compromised. 

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) says it is still too early to tell whether the National Senior Certificate and Senior Certificate Mathematics Paper 2 examination will be re-written after it was leaked.

A three-tiered investigation has now been set up by the DBE to track down the source of the leak of Monday’s question paper, the department revealed on Wednesday.

READ | Matric exam leak: Hawks roped in as preliminary probe shows more provinces affected

Minister Angie Motshegka briefed the media alongside director-general Mathanzima Mweli and chief director for National Assessment and Public Examinations, Rufus Poliah, following a meeting with the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) on Wednesday. 

Tip-off led to the discovery

The department said it became aware of the leak after its spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, received an email with the attached paper from a university student in Johannesburg who runs an NGO that provides support to school children. 

The student received the question paper from four pupils who needed help and forwarded it to Mhlanga after becoming suspicious. 

The paper was also disseminated in some WhatsApp groups matric candidates were in to support each other. 

The department said initial reports showed that the paper had surfaced in Limpopo and Gauteng, but it was later established that other provinces were also affected. 

Motshekga said eight of nine provinces reported possible spreading of the leak, with Free State the only province that had not yet received a report.

How the investigation will work 

The probe will be conducted by a team comprising of the quality assurance council, Umalusi, South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), Universities South Africa (USAf) and the department. The team will be appointed by the director-general. 

Motshekga said the department was highly disappointed by the developments after the department had worked hard to ensure they went ahead.  

Presenting the investigation protocols on Wednesday, Poliah said the first phase of the investigation would have to be completed by 30 November, with the second phase by 30 January 2021. 

The investigating team would be tasked to establish the source and extent of the leak, make recommendations on ensuring the credibility of the exams was not compromised – and make recommendations on how the system could be improved to avoid future leaks. 

The department said the investigation would establish whether the leak was contained within certain areas in provinces and where necessary, a rewrite would be facilitated. 

Poliah said: 

Motshekga said eight of nine provinces reported possible spreading of the leak, with Free State the only province that had not yet received a report.

Umalusi would have to make a final determination that, despite the leak, the examination was not compromised and measures put in place have reinstated the credibility of the mathematics paper.  

Tier two of the investigation would involve using the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) to help identify the source of the leak. 

Experts and IT

Experts would also be roped in to conduct an extensive forensic audit on examination systems across provinces and establish where weaknesses were.

The investigating team would also conduct interviews with a few candidates whose names and contact details appeared in the WhatsApp messages chain. 

An IT forensic company would also be approached for expert advice and assistance on the tracing of the WhatsApp messages and selected suspicious examination centres would also be audited. 

Poliah said despite the investigative methods put in place, the department would also be conducting an investigative audit during marking and the performance of candidates in Mathematics Papers 1 and 2 would be compared. 

“We will also do a statistical comparative analysis of our preparatory examination results with the final results, to pick up possible groups in terms of schools where performance may be extremely high,” he said. 

The department said it would also be pursuing other options to conclude the matter and to ensure the credibility of the affected paper was reinstated – among them being an appeal to all candidates to come forward if they may have had access to the paper.

It would also be appealing to officials to assist with information they may have. 

“I think we will not spare the penalty in terms of the culprits in this matter because if one gets a sense of the psychological trauma that is now been brought to our learners, then one needs to agree that we need to take serious action against the culprits. In a nutshell, if there is a need for a rewrite based on the evidence, and we don’t want to pre-empt, is purely dependent on what comes out of the investigation and what the nature of the re-write will be,” he said. 

Motshekga added: 

In terms of a rewrite, honestly, that will be the most desperate last option. We will only do a rewrite if we feel the integrity of the exams is in jeopardy because we also cannot compromise the integrity of the exams.

Motshekga said the department also wanted to protect those pupils who were not part of the WhatsApp groups where the paper found its way and was disseminated, adding that the department, through its investigation, would also establish the time the paper was leaked.

She said the forensic marking would tell whether there was any impact once the department established the time when the paper was leaked. 

Securing the rest of the NSC exams

The department said it had since heightened security where question papers were handled and stored. It said all CCTV footage would be looked at closely and contract workers would also be closely supervised.

The department added that it would continue implementing its double locking system of the strong room where question papers were stored and would increase the monitoring, distribution and writing of the exams going forward and in future.

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Riot police squads intervene as pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters clash in Montreal




People wave flags atop cars in traffic during a demonstration to voice support for the people of Palestine, at Toronto City Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on 15 May 2021.

People wave flags atop cars in traffic during a demonstration to voice support for the people of Palestine, at Toronto City Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on 15 May 2021.

  • Violence
    between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protesters in Montreal was condemned by
    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
  • Montreal’s
    city police force intervened and declared the protests illegal after tensions
    heightened and clashes broke out.
  • Israeli
    strikes killed 42 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the worst daily
    toll in almost a week of clashes.

– Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday condemned the violence and
“despicable rhetoric” that marked several weekend protests throughout
the country, after clashes between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters in

worst violence in years, sparked by unrest in Jerusalem, is raging between the
Jewish state and Islamist militants.

strikes killed 42 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the worst daily
toll in almost a week of deadly clashes.

after protests in Montreal, Trudeau condemned what he said was “despicable
rhetoric and violence we saw on display in some protests this weekend”.

insisting on the “right to assemble peacefully and express themselves
freely in Canada”, Trudeau stressed in a tweet that there was no tolerance
for “antisemitism, Islamophobia, or hate of any kind”.

on Sunday, Montreal police used tear gas following clashes between pro-Israel
and pro-Palestinian protesters.

hundred demonstrators, draped in Israeli flags, had gathered in a central
Montreal square to express solidarity with the Jewish state.

‘Protesting is a right’

the protest started peacefully, tensions ratcheted up with the arrival of
pro-Palestinian demonstrators and clashes soon broke out.

SPVM, Montreal’s city police force, declared the protests illegal, and squads
of riot police intervened, using tear gas to separate and disperse the two
groups, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.

police spent much of the afternoon in pursuit of the pro-Palestinian
protesters, who spread out and regrouped in commercial streets in the city centre.

the clashes, Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said on Twitter that
“protesting is a right”, but that “intolerance, violence and
anti-Semitism have no place here”.

She said:

Montreal is a city of peace.

thousand pro-Palestinian demonstrators had gathered on Saturday in central
Montreal to denounce what they said were Israeli repression and “war
crimes” in Gaza.

Israel”, some protesters chanted, while others held up a banner that read,
“Stop the genocide of Palestinian children”.

protests happened the same day in multiple Canadian cities, including Toronto,
Ottawa and Vancouver.

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African News

Peter Thiel Helps Fund an App That Tells You What to Do




“How would you feel about being able to pay to control multiple aspects of another person’s life?” asks the BBC.

“A new app is offering you the chance to do just that.”

When writer Brandon Wong recently couldn’t decide what takeaway to order one evening, he asked his followers on social media app NewNew to choose for him. Those that wanted to get involved in the 24-year-old’s dinner dilemma paid $5 (£3.50) to vote in a poll, and the majority verdict was that he should go for Korean food, so that was what he bought…

NewNew is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Courtne Smith. The app, which is still in its “beta” or pre-full release stage, describes itself as “a human stock market where you buy shares in the lives of real people, in order to control their decisions and watch the outcome”. For many of us that sounds a bit ominous, but the reality is actually far less alarming. It is aimed at what it calls “creators” — writers, painters, musicians, fashion designers, bloggers etc. It is designed as a way for them to connect far more closely with their fans or followers than on other social media services and, importantly, monetise that connection…

Whenever a vote is cast the creator gets the money minus NewNew’s undisclosed commission… In addition to voting, followers can also pay extra — from $20 — to ask a NewNew creator to do something of their choosing, such as naming a character in a book after them. But the creator can reject all of these “bids”, and if they do so then the follower doesn’t have to part with the money…

Co-founder and chief executive Ms Smith, a 33-year-old Canadian, has big plans for NewNew, and has some heavyweight backers. Investors include Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, and the first outside person to put money into Facebook. Others with a stake in the business include leading US tech investment fund Andreessen Horowitz, and Hollywood actor Will Smith (no relation to Courtne). Snapchat has also given technical support.

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Sandpapergate will haunt Australia cricket forever: ex-bowling coach




Cameron Bancroft. (Photo by Brenton Geach - Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Cameron Bancroft. (Photo by Brenton Geach – Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The 2018 ball-tampering scandal will haunt Australian cricket forever, much like the infamous underarm delivery of 40 years ago, the team’s former bowling coach David Saker said on Monday.

Saker was responding to opening batsman Cameron Bancroft suggesting that Australia’s bowlers knew about the plan in Cape Town to alter the ball which earned him a nine-month ban and rocked the game.

Saker was Australia’s bowling coach when Bancroft was caught trying to rough up the ball with sandpaper during the third Test against South Africa.

While refusing to be drawn on who knew what, Saker said “the finger-pointing is going to go on and on and on”.

“It’s like the underarm, it’s never going to go away,” he told Fairfax Media, referring to a 1981 incident when Trevor Chappell bowled underarm to ensure New Zealand lost a one-day match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The notorious delivery is still cited in New Zealand and in cricketing circles as a prime example of unsporting conduct.

However, the ball-tampering scandal – dubbed “sandpapergate” – had a greater impact on Australian cricket, with the then-captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner suspended for a year from all cricket and stripped of their leadership roles.

Darren Lehmann also quit as coach and all the top brass from Cricket Australia left after a scathing review blasted their “arrogant and controlling” win-at-all-costs culture.

No one else among the team or coaching staff was held to account but Bancroft’s remarks in an interview with The Guardian newspaper hinted that the team’s bowlers at least knew about the plan.

“Obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory,” he said.

Saker added: “There was a lot of people to blame. It could have been me to blame, it could have been someone else. It could have been stopped and it wasn’t, which is unfortunate.

“Cameron’s a very nice guy. He’s just doing it to get something off his chest … He’s not going to be the last.”

In response, Cricket Australia said that if anyone had new information, they would look into it.

Saker said he was not opposed to a fresh investigation but added “I just don’t know what they’re going to find out.”

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Mexico’s Andrea Meza crowned Miss Universe




Miss Universe Andrea Meza

Miss Universe Andrea Meza





1. Mexico

2. India

3. Brazil

4. Dominican Republic

5. Peru



1. Jamaica 

2. Dominican Republic 

3. India

4. Peru 

5. Australia 

6. Puerto Rico

7. Thailand

8. Costa Rica

9. Mexico

10. Brazil





1. Columbia

2. Peru 

3. Australia 

4. France

5. Myanmar

6. Jamaica 

7. Mexico 

8. Dominican Republic 

9. USA

10. Indonesia 

11. Argentina 

12. India

13. Curaçao

14. Puerto Rico

15. Phillipines 

16. Brazil

17. Great Britain

18. Nicaragua

19. Thailand 

20. Costa Rica

21. Vietnam



74 contestants will compete for the title of Miss Universe on 16 May in Hollywood, Florida. 

The Miss Universe pageant takes place on 16 May in the US (02:00 to 05:00 on 17 May SA time). The show will be broadcast live on 1 Magic (DStv Channel 103) with a repeat at 21:30. 

Reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa will crown her successor at the end of the event.

Representing South Africa is Natasha Joubert, and South Africans are hoping for the “magic double” – back-to-back consecutive wins, which has only happened once before in the pageant’s history.

Natasha wowed crowds at the national costume competition last week and on Friday impressed during the preliminary round

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Miss Mexico crowned Miss Universe 2021




By AFP Time of article published 16m ago

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Washington – Miss Mexico was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday in Florida, after fellow contestant Miss Myanmar used her stage time to draw attention to the bloody military coup in her country.

Sunday night marked the Miss Universe competition’s return to television, after the pageant was cancelled in 2020 for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Andrea Meza, 26, finished first ahead of the Brazilian and Peruvian finalists in a flashy televised event, hosted by American actor Mario Lopez and television personality Olivia Culpo.

Former Miss Universe contestants Cheslie Kryst, Paulina Vega and Demi-Leigh Tebow (who won the title in 2017) served as competition analysts and commentators, and a panel of eight women determined the winner.

Dressed in a sparkling red evening gown, Meza tearfully walked the catwalk as Miss Universe for the first time, before rushing back for a group hug with the other competitors.

Meza beat more than 70 contestants from around the globe in the 69th installment of Miss Universe, which was held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

In the days leading up to the final competition, Miss Myanmar Thuzar Wint Lwin, who made the top 21, made waves when she used her time in the spotlight to bring attention to the coup in her country.

“Our people are dying and being shot by the military every day,” she said during her biographical video, which showed photos of her taking part in the anti-coup protests. “Therefore I would like to urge everyone to speak out about Myanmar.”

Natasha Joubert, Miss Universe South Africa 2020 competes on stage in Ema Savahl swimwear during the MISS UNIVERSE® Preliminary Competition.

She also won the award for best national costume: during that competition segment on Thursday, she wore an outfit beaded in traditional Burmese patterns and held up a sign that said, “Pray for Myanmar.”

Myanmar has been in uproar since February 1, when the army ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

At least 796 people have been killed by security forces since then, according to a local monitoring group, while nearly 4 000 people are behind bars.

Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Ong – who did not make the top 21 – also used the national costume portion to make a political statement.

Dressed in a glittering red bodysuit and matching thigh-high boots, she turned around to reveal her cape – in the colours of the Singaporean flag – was painted with the words “Stop Asian Hate.”

“What is this platform for if I can’t use it to send a strong message of resistance against prejudice and violence?” she wrote on Instagram alongside pictures of her outfit.

The United States in particular has seen a surge in anti-Asian violence in the past year, which activists have blamed on former president Donald Trump’s rhetoric, especially his repeated description of Covid-19 as the “China virus.”

The pageant has also drawn criticism in the past for objectifying the contestants.

In recent years, the competition has shifted image, focusing more on female empowerment and activism.

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