DESPITE all the difficulties they faced last year, the matric class of 2020 passed their final exams.

When Zamahlangu Mahlangu faced personal issues in 2019, she left Saint Martins High School and stayed at home to deal with them.

But what she thought was a setback was a blessing in disguise.

The 19-year-old from Meadowlands, Soweto, registered at Emadwaleni High School in Mzimhlophe in 2020 and was able to give her final year the attention it needed.

Tlabego Moswatupa from Bona Lesedi Secondary School in Mamelodi passed his matric with seven distinctions. Photos by Raymond Morare Photo by Divine Seakamela(19) from Amanda Park completed Matric at Hotspot F.H High School last year and is hoping for distinctions. Photos by Raymond Morare

Zamahlangu worked hard and was expecting the seven distinctions she got.

“I was an A student from grade R. This is something God gave me. I’ve sacrificed a lot since primary school and made sure I passed with flying colours,” she said.

Tlabego Moswatupa with his aunt Nape Moloto wearing yellow blouse celebrating Tlabego's matric achievements. Photos by Raymond Morare. Photo by Christopher Moagi Photo by

Zamahlangu hopes to study biomedical sciences at university. Her principal, Vuyo Mkhwanazi, said he was grateful to the teachers for working hard to help pupils.

Tlabego Moswatupa from Bona Lesedi Secondary School in Mamelodi passed his matric with seven distinctions. Photo by Raymond Morare

Tlabego Moswatupa (18) from Bona Lesedi Secondary School in Mamelodi East, Tshwane, managed to ace matric with seven distinctions. However, he said the pressure he was under almost led to him performing poorly.

Keitumetse Seepe of Pelo Tona School in Mabopane can't believe she got seven distinctions.

He said his inspiration was his mum, who he promised he’d do well before she died in 2016.

Tlabego said his aunt Nape Moloto (47) believed in him and told him he’d be a top pupil if he focused on his books.

Three DD Mabuza Comprehensive School pupils – (from left) Brian Hlatshwayo, Peace Phangisa and Eric Mavimbela – are among the top 10 in Mpumalanga.

Keitumetse Seepe of Pelotona Secondary School in Mabopane, Tshwane, said she couldn’t believe she got seven distinctions. The 18-year-old from block X said she wanted to study medicine at the University of Cape Town.

Three DD Mabuza Comprehensive School are amongst the Top 10 in Mpumalanga. From left: Brian Hlatshwayo, Peace Phangisa and Eric Mavimbela. Photo by

“I want to help others. I have a passion for working with children and I want to be able to heal them,” she said.

Her mum Joyce (50) said: “This will encourage her siblings, who’re still in school.”

Daily Sun spoke to Penelope Shibambo (18) from Amanda Park in Mamelodi, Tshwane, before the results were released. A pupil at Tsako Thabo High School said her matric year was difficult due to Covid-19.

She said living in a squatter camp was also a huge disadvantage as she had to use a candle to study.

“Despite this I’m positive I’ve done well,” she said.

Divine Seakamela (19), also from Amanda Park, said he wrote exams for seven subjects at Hoerskool FH Odendaal in East Lynne and hoped for three distinctions.

Basetsana Tlailane from Ekangala, Tshwane, said she was trying to be positive but was scared.

Brian Hlatshwayo, Peace Phangisa and Eric Mavimbela from DD Mabuza Comprehensive School in Nkomazi, Mpumalanga, said adapting to the new normal helped them to do exceptionally well in their studies.

Daliwonga Secondary School in Soweto had a good pass rate for the year 2020. One of their pupils, Mzandile Ngomani from Central Western Jabavu, got seven distinctions.

Mbalenhle Macheke (18) and Bonolo Mokoena (17) got six distinctions each. Many other students got three and four distinctions. Mzwandile said he wanted to enrol at Wits to study actuarial science. Mbalenhle will do accounting.