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Advocate Hayley Maud Slingers

Slingers - Western Cape - JSC Interviews 2019


Current position: Advocate

Date appointed: Joined the bar in 2010

Candidate bio:

Slingers has acted at the Western Cape Division of the High Court for the past three years.

In Rapivest 12 (Pty) Ltd v Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) and Others, the applicant sought to review and set aside a tender process that was conducted by the first respondent for a jewellery concession to be operated at Cape Town International Airport.

The second respondent was then awarded the concession, and signed a lease agreement with Acsa. Before the tender process, the applicant was in possession of the concession, and was the lessee of the premises concerned.

After the applicant failed to file an application for judicial review within the 180-day limit under section 7(1) of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, Slingers had to decide whether it would be in the interest of justice to grant the application for the extension of the 180-day period.

Slingers considered facts including the explanation for the delay, whether the impugned decision was given effect to, whether the delay caused any prejudice to those affected by the decision, public interest considerations, and a consideration of the merits of the review application.

She found that the applicant had provided a full and adequate explanation for the delay and because the lease agreement had not yet been implemented, the impugned decision was not given effect to.

With regard to the merits of the review application, Slingers held that the second respondent failed to show that it would be just and equitable to evict the applicant from the premises.

Holding that the validity of the lease agreement between the first and second Respondent was called into question since it originated from an invalid award, Slingers concluded that the lease agreement was not in accordance with a system that was fair, equitable, competitive and cost effective as required by section 217(1) of the Constitution. Furthermore, the second respondent had failed to prove that the applicant was unlawfully in occupation of the premises.

Slingers granted the application for an extension of the 180-day period; reviewed and set aside the award of the tender to the second respondent; and declared the lease agreement between the two invalid. An appeal to the Constitutional Court by the Second Respondent was dismissed on 2 May 2019.

In the 2017 matter of Road Accident Fund RAF v Chin the respondent objected to a request by the RAF to submit to a medical examination by a Doctor nominated by the Applicant, and filed a notice of objection in terms of Uniform Rule 36(3).

After referring to Uniform Rule 36(2), its possible impact on fundamental rights such as the right to privacy or bodily integrity and the case of Durban City Council v Mndovu, Slingers found that the legislator could not have intended to limit the grounds on which an objection could be raised against a nominated doctor to carry out the medical examination. However, such an objection would have to be reasonable, material and substantial against the backdrop of the right to a fair trial.

Slingers found that affidavits by respondent’s witnesses were not sufficiently relevant to be admitted and nor had the respondent presented a strong case regarding the bias of the nominated doctor.

She held that the objections raised by the respondent were not reasonable, material or substantial and directed Chin to submit to a medical examination by the doctor nominated by the RAF. She also allowed the respondent to audibly record the examination in addition to having her own medical practitioner present.

Forty-six year-old Slingers holds a BA (1993) and LLB (1995) and an LLM in criminal justice (2006) from the University of Cape Town. She also obtained an LLM in Constitutional and International Law from the University of South Africa in 2002.

After graduating Slingers worked as an attorney before joining the National Prosecuting Authority as a prosecutor in 2002. She rose within those ranks serving as a senior state advocate (2003-2008) and then deputy director at the NPA (2008-2010) before joining the Cape Bar in 2010.

October 2019 Interview:

October 2019 Interview Synopsis:

Slingers was the eighth candidate to be interviewed on this day. All the commissioners seemingly exhausted, the CJ commenced with background questions relating to her qualifications, which she has obtained from various universities. The CJ dwelled on environmental law questions, considering that Slingers holds a master’s degree in environmental law and considering the drought in Cape Town which almost led to ‘day zero’.

Slingers expressed a concerning sentiment regarding organised crime when she said, “we are losing the battle”. She is of the view that lack of adequate resources is the underlying issue. She alluded to human trafficking, in which money is injected into the organised crime for the perpetrators to gain more money from the organised crime. She emphasised that in order to curb organised crimes more money must be injected into the necessary resources.

In illustration of her qualifications and experience Slingers expertly answered a question posed by the Judge President of the Western Cape Division, John Hlope. The question related to public international law and specifically on what is required from a state in order to be recognised as a state. Stating that a state needs the recognition of other states in order to be a state and acquire the benefits of being a state. However, such recognition by other states does not mean that the state is not a state if it is not afforded such recognition by such other states. Slingers answered the question so perfectly to such an extent that the JP rested his case and posed no further questions.

Commissioner Singh who always pays attention to detail noted that it was for the first time that they had a candidate who had stipulated in her application that she was unemployed at some point in her career. Slingers confirmed that she was indeed unemployed for a period of five months at some point in her career. Despite such hurdles Slingers never lost her motivation.

Upon being asked by the CJ what her secret is in that she has never had any reserved judgments longer than three months, Slingers noted her “secrets” as follows: hard work, working smart, planning ahead and being prepared! This should be general knowledge for all judicial officers.”

In illustration of her determination Slingers, upon being questioned by Commissioner Mpofu, acknowledged that she has never applied for silk. Slingers noted that there are various requirements that must be met for one to apply for silk. Opportunities were not forthcoming which could have led her to applying for silk, instead she received an opportunity to start acting as a judge at the high court. She confirmed that she can do everything that a silk can do, however she just does not have the status of a silk. Slingers lamented that “being given silk is not an indication of competence or incompetence, it is about the opportunities that have been presented to the person”. Therefore, Slingers intends to climb the ladder from being a junior advocate to becoming a judge.