The High Court (Pretoria) has refused to hear an urgent application of four SAAF cadets kicked off a training programme for having taken cannabis, reports TimesLIVE. They argued that they were entitled to use cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes at home, however they had also approached the Military Ombud over their complaint.
Four cadets who were removed from the SA Air Force’s Military Skills Development System (MSDS) programme after cannabis was detected in their systems, have had their application struck off the roll by the High Court (Pretoria). The group had sought an order declaring unlawful the department of defence’s decision to terminate their service with the SA Air Force.
The High Court refused to deal with the application, Judge Elmarie van der Schyff saying the dispute was being dealt with in another forum, and that “in light of the doctrine of separation of powers, a court should tread lightly when there is the possibility of intruding into another functionary’s domain”.
TimesLIVE reports that the four, who were asked to report to the Swartkop Air Force base for duty in March, were removed from the programme when cannabis were found in their systems after testing. However, they argued they were entitled to use cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes in the privacy of their own homes.
The department said when they were invited to attend the programme, their letters of invitation clearly stated no liquor or drugs were allowed at camp and, if found, this could lead to a dismissal. None had, at the time, indicated any medical condition that required the use of drugs.
Although they subsequently signed a notice to withdraw from the MSDS programme due to medical reasons, three of them then lodged complaints with the military ombud on 31 March 31. On 5 April, testing revealed there was no trace of cannabis in their systems and they then lodged another appeal with the office of the chief of the SA Air Force. Their attorney advised them to also approach the High court on an urgent basis for reinstatement.
cannabis judgment Majokweni_v_Minister_of_Defence
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