Jun 18, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Military doctors were right: WhatsApp is not right for orders to deploy

Twelve medical military personnel accused of “disobeying local command” or “acting subject to military discipline” when refusing to be stationed on a Covid-19 mission in the Eastern Cape, were exonerated.

You were part of a group of 75 doctors, nurses, specialists and other doctors who were dispatched to the province on July 3, 2020 as part of Operation Notlela.

They would be gone for eight weeks.

Operation Notlela was the SA National Defense Force’s response to the coronavirus pandemic that saw soldiers, paramedics, pioneers ( pioneer or combat engineers) and other military personnel patrolled the streets, screened and, According to DefenseWeb, tested patients and provided drinking water and logistical support.

However, 12 of Gauteng’s medical workers were not on duty and were on Monday, July 6th , before a military judge.

Plaatjies said he had been ordered to pay damages to sue the military for legal costs as well as pain and suffering.

“They were the subject of the jokes for nine months. It cost them a lot and I’m not cheap … The point here is that the military shouldn’t use social media to communicate because it opens them up to hacking or exploitation.

“The national policy is very clear and the chief of the Defense Forces and the chief of military intelligence have warned the officials against using WhatsApp for this reason.

” There was not even minimal evidence to be charged and that’s why I took on the case. “

He explained the case and why the officers were found not guilty.

The head of Gauteng anesthetics should be the commander of the group deployed in the Eastern Cape. But he wasn’t in his office when the call came from the military.

He was given a list of 75 names in a WhatsApp group, including himself and some of his employees.

” He couldn’t imagine what was on the list until he got a call to inform him that they would have to report to Waterkloof on Sunday … to dispatch to a Covid-19 flare-up in the Eastern Cape / p>

“I argued it was an inappropriate time because Gauteng was the epicenter of the pandemic during that time. The hospitals were already understaffed. “

Plaatjies said the military had failed to follow due process as there was no” warning order “to notify doctors and no” pre-deployment briefing “of the information they provided required before deploying

And the unit was not given a “Route Form Authority” – the authority to break away from its unit and formally evacuate it. He said this would cover members in the event of death or injury along the way.

The attorney said many of the 12 had comorbidities, including the commander who was 59 years old and a woman who breastfed. When they worked in the medical field, they knew they were at high risk.

When the military was informed, the 12 were asked to tell the SANDF the reasons why they were not being used could. On July 6th, they were asked to meet at a military hospital.

“They were told there was a general meeting at 6:00 am. But when they got there, to their dismay, they were driven one by one like little children into the office and then like a bunch of cattle to a waiting prosecutor.

“I said [in court] that the list of names was chosen by a general who sat in the dark smoking cigars and only said names – it was clear that no real plans were being made. “

Plaatjies said that if the doctors had been found guilty, they would likely have paid a huge fine. Worse still, it would be considered a black mark against her and hinder her career.

The case ran November 24-26 and was postponed to March 5 when the state closed the case. < / p>

“I said there was no evidence to prosecute the defendant and, at first glance, the state did not even tell the court why they were charged. There was no likely cause for indictment.

“The court agreed and dismissed the case.”

The 12 were resolved on Tuesday.