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Pretoria High Court dismisses SAAF Cannabis Case; says Military Should Deal with Such Matters Internally

Pretoria High Court dismisses SAAF Cannabis Case; says Military Should Deal with Such Matters Internally

Brett Hilton Barber

11 May 2022, 22:00:00

The dispute is being dealt with in another forum

The North Gauteng High Court has struck off the role an application by four air force cadets to be reinstated on a military skills development programme after they were dismissed on cannabis charges.


Judge Elmarie van der Schyff said in the Pretoria court on 9 May 2022 that the matter was one that should be dealt with internally by the military.


The four unnamed men had sought an order declaring the department of defence’s decision to terminate their service with the SA Air Force unlawful.


The four, who were asked to report to the Swartkop Air Force base for duty in March, were removed from the programme after traces of cannabis were found in their systems after testing.


The four argued they were entitled to use cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes in the privacy of their own homes.


They also contended the cannabis detected in their urine and blood samples was present in their systems because they ingested the drug at their respective homes before reporting to Swartkop.


The Judge entertained the applications only of three of the cadets but said they had placed the proverbial cart before the horse by lodging the urgent application.


“The dispute is being dealt with in another forum,” Van der Schyff said, referring to the military ombudsman.


“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.”

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