The Department of Basic Education is faced with another blow after the matric Physical Science exam Paper 2 appeared to have been leaked on Monday, just a week after Mathematics Paper 2 was leaked.
Purported copies of the question paper circulated on WhatsApp messages early on Monday morning.
In a statement on Monday evening, the department confirmed it was probing reports that the paper was leaked and circulated before the commencement of the examination on Monday morning.
"The Council of Education Ministers held an urgent meeting this afternoon to consider the implications of the latest developments, with the leak of the Mathematics Paper 2 and Physical Science question papers," it said.
The department said investigations were at an advanced stage and details on the progress of the probe would be made public at the right time, while areas of possible weakness had been identified.
Teams have also been dispatched to provinces to recheck the security systems.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said: "It is unfortunate that people continue to be involved in something like this, even though the consequences can be dire.
"We condemn in the strongest terms the conduct of persons who undermine the integrity of the examination because it causes untold stress on the learners who are looking forward to exiting the schooling system with a pass from an honest examination, not one associated with cheating."
Last Wednesday, the department announced it had instituted a three-tiered investigation to track down the source of the Maths question paper leak.
Initial reports of the leak pointed to Limpopo and Gauteng, but it was later discovered that all other provinces, with the exception of the Free State, were affected, News24 reported.
The probe would be conducted by a team comprising the quality assurance council, Umalusi, South African Qualifications Authority, Universities South Africa and the department.
The department's chief director for National Assessment and Public Examinations, Rufus Poliah, announced that the first phase of the investigation would have to be completed by 30 November.
The mathematics paper leak came to the attention of the department after spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, received it via email from a university student in Johannesburg.
The student runs an NGO, which provides support to schoolchildren, and had received it from pupils who needed help.