Four SANDF hopefuls’ cannabis case struck off the role

Four SANDF hopefuls’ cannabis case struck off the role


The Pretoria High Court has struck off the roll an application made by four SANDF hopefuls. The four individuals were removed from the 2022 army’s military skill development system (MSDS) programme for the year 2022.

Four SANDF hopefuls aimed to have Department’s decision declared unlawful

They wanted the courts to declare the Department of Defence’s decision to remove them from the SA Air Force’s training unlawful. The four were removed from the programme after traces of cannabis was found in their systems following testing.

They reportedly argued that they were legally allowed to use cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes in their own homes. The four further argued that the cannabis that was detected in their systems was present as they ingested it at their respective homes.

After applying to enlist as cadets in June 2021, they underwent psychometric evaluation and medical fitness tests. The four were unexpectedly contacted by the defence department to report for duty at Swartkop where the testing was conducted.

They were informed that they were medically unfit and read and signed a notice to withdraw from the MSDS programme. Three of the applicants lodged complaints with the military ombud.

High Court refuses to deal with the applications

The High Court reportedly refused to deal with their application. Judge Elmarie van der Schyff said that the four are aware that they can apply to the High Court for a review against the military ombud’s decision. She explained the dispute is being dealt with in another forum.

Van Der Schyff refused to look at the fourth applicant’s application adding that the military ombud was the more appropriate forum to approach, reports TimesLIVE.

“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,”

said Van Der Schyff.

The Pretoria High Court believes the Military Ombud is the best option for the four SANDF hopefuls who were removed for having cannabis in their systems. Photo: piccadilley / Flickr

SANDF hopefuls turn to court after being sidelined for using cannabis

The discovery of cannabis in the system of four men may have ended their dreams of joining the SANDF as air force cadets. The aspiring trainees were removed from the training program, pushing them to take action in defence of their dreams.

The group of four men brought the matter, along with the SANDF, to court. They expressed that the minister and the department were denying their right to partake in the use of the substance in the safety and privacy of their personal homes. 

An application was hastily presented to the Gauteng High Court in an attempt to overturn the ruling of the SANDF. The men highlighted that they not only used the substance within the law but that they were under the impression that their applications were unsuccessful prior to consuming the substance. Read the full story here.

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