The appellants were officers in the South African Military Health Service (SAMHS), the medical branch of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). They were part of a group of 35 officers selected to study military medicine in Cuba. Of this group 26 were chosen in 2017 (the 2017 group), and nine were selected and commenced studying in Cuba in 2018, pursuant to a memorandum of understanding between the Department of Defence (DoD) and the Cuban military authorities concerning the training of members of various divisions of the SANDF in Cuba (the MOU).
 On 26 March 2019 the appellants were informed that they had been dismissed from the SANDF in terms of s 59(3) of the Defence Act 42 of 2002 (the Act), for refusing to attend classes from 11 February to 20 March 2019, in defiance of an order by their commanding officer. Section 59(3) of the Act provides that members of the SANDF who absent themselves from official duty for more than 30 days without the permission of their commanding officer, must be regarded as having been dismissed. The appellants were sent back to South Africa. The central issue in this appeal, which is with the special leave of this Court, is whether the appellants’ dismissal was lawful.