Department of Education Reacts to Skomota’s Inclusion in Exam Paper

Department of Education Reacts to Skomota’s Inclusion in Exam Paper

The South African Department of Education has responded to the controversy sparked by the inclusion of social media influencer Skomota in a recent exam paper. The examination, which featured the influencer as a case study, went viral on social media, prompting mixed reactions from the public.

Outrage Over Skomota’s Inclusion

This week, a Life Orientation exam paper that featured Thabang Sefala, known as Skomota, emerged on social media. The Limpopo-born influencer was the subject of three questions in the paper, allowing learners to earn up to 10 marks.

Critics have argued that featuring Skomota undermines the examination process and academic integrity. Many question his suitability as a positive role model, noting his frequent social media displays involving alcohol and intimate behavior with women.

An X (formerly Twitter) user expressed frustration:

“It’s the assumption that all children know Skomota for me😏…….There are parents who would do anything to not expose their children to oSkomota because they realise that there is nothing to learn from his behaviour. The Department of Education needs to do better!”

Another added:

“Kids need to be taught financial literacy and other important things not to answer exam questions about Skomota like really?”

Department of Education’s Response

Elijah Mhlanga, spokesperson for the National Department of Basic Education, addressed the issue in an interview with ZiMoja. He questioned the authenticity of the exam paper, suggesting it might have been altered.

“DBE would not know if this were real or not because schools set their own exams for learners under grade 12. There are no national exams but internal exams which means a school could do something like this for their own purposes.”

Mhlanga emphasized the possibility of manipulation:

“It could easily be a manipulated document.”

Despite the doubts, Mhlanga assured that the Department of Education would investigate the matter further by consulting with provincial education departments.

“I will, however, check with my colleagues from the provinces if they know anything about it.”


The Department of Education’s response highlights the ongoing challenges in maintaining the integrity and appropriateness of educational content. The controversy over Skomota’s inclusion in an exam paper underscores the need for careful consideration of role models and subjects in educational assessments.

As the investigation continues, the department aims to address the concerns raised and ensure the relevance and quality of educational materials.

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