14 October 2005

Namibia: Unisa Exam Papers Stolen At Unam

Windhoek — Police this week launched an investigation into the theft of several University of South Africa (UNISA) exam papers from the University of Namibia (UNAM) that were stolen last Friday night. UNAM has confirmed the theft and the police investigations.

"A case has been opened by the Namibian police, who, together with UNAM, are investigating the matter", said UNAM public relations officer Katrina Sikeni. At least five accounting exam papers are reported to have been stolen, copied and returned to the UNAM offices. Media reports said the papers were stolen by students including five South Africans who are reported to have travelled to Windhoek to steal the papers. The South Africans are said to have returned home on Saturday. Sikeni said however that the identity of the suspects is not known. The five South African students are said to have attempted to sell one of the papers to a Namibian student for N$2000. The examination papers arrived in Namibia last Friday.

UNISA is the largest university in South Africa and one of the largest distance education institutions in the world. UNISA said it was aware that some of its examination papers that were delivered to the University of Namibia had been compromised. The university said it will substitute the affected examination papers and three examinations will be rescheduled. UNISA said about 13500 students worldwide will be affected but said all examinations will be completed by the due date.

New papers have been set and will be written on the following dates: the Applied Auditing paper that was written on 12 October will be rewritten on 27 October. The affected students are being contacted by SMS, email and telephone.

"The university cannot divulge any further details at this point in order not to hamper or harm the investigation by the Namibian police. The university is also holding its own investigation into the matter", said Doreen Gough, director of corporate communication and marketing at UNISA.

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