At loggerheads over the standardisation process of last year’s matric results, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has accused Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis of unethical conduct and has called for Parliament and his party to take disciplinary action against him.
In a letter to DA chief whip John Steenhuisen, Motshekga complains that Davis, as a member of the Basic Education portfolio committee, had breached security and confidentiality issues around the national senior certificate exam system.
She said Davis, who has publicly questioned the standardisation process and asked for an explanation for the upward adjustment of marks, had been part of confidential discussions at the national standardisation meeting, where confidential discussions were held between the Quality Assurance Council, Umalusi and the department.
She accused Davis of refusing to sign a confidentiality agreement, taking pictures and engaging on social media during the meeting and leaving the meeting with the standardisation booklet that contained confidential raw mark data, which he then shared with the public. Davis had also sought additional information without following protocol, she says.
“It would appear that this confidence that we have entrusted in members of Parliament has been seriously undermined,” she says, recommending disciplinary action by the committee and DA.
Responding this morning, Davis accused Motshekga of trying to shut down interrogation, and dismissed the letter as “little more than an attempt to bully us into silence”.
“These tactics won’t work. It is everybody’s right to know how the matric examination papers were marked, how they were moderated and why the marks were adjusted.
“We have put a number of legitimate questions to the chief executive of Umalusi, Dr Mafu Rakometsi, regarding the standardisation process, and he has refused to answer. Furthermore, Dr Rakometsi has refused to share documents that will help explain why the marks of so many subjects (28 out of 58) were adjusted upwards.”
Davis today submitted an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act to request key documents on the standardisation process. “ There may very well be good answers to all the questions we have asked. But we need to hear these explanations.”
Last month, Davis wrote an open letter to Rakometsi raising questions about the upward adjustment of marks.