Standard Bank of South Africa Limited v Leslie and Others (JR2427/15) [2019] ZALCJHB 62 (27 March 2019).

/ / 2019, Appeals, News


This judgment concerns an application for leave to appeal prompted by Standard Bank of South Africa Limited(the “Applicant”), being opposed by Heiden Leslie (the “First Respondent”). On analysis of the factual matrix, the Applicant raised two grounds that the Court had failed to address when contemplating the evidence.  Firstly, that the Court had failed to provide reasons for not taking video footage into account.  Secondly, that the Court had misapplied itself by declining to watch the video footage of the incident, thus the Court was not in a position to make an informed determination.  

When considering the prevailing legislation, the Court considered Section 17 of the Superior Court Act, which regulates instances in which the appeal may be granted. Which provides as follows:  

‘Leave to appeal may only be given where the judge or judges are of the opinion that–
(i)  the appeal would have a reasonable prospect of success; or
(ii)  there is some other compelling reason why the appeal should be heard, including conflicting judgments on the matter under consideration;
(b) the decisions sought on appeal does not fall within the ambit of section 16(2)(a); and
(c) where the decision sought to be appealed does not dispose of all the issues in the case, the appeal would lead to a just and prompt resolution of the real issue between the parties.’    

Furthermore, the Court was mindful of the case of Martin and East (Pty) Ltd v National Union of Mineworkers and Others, where the Labour Appeal Court clarified that leave to appeal “is not simply there for the taking, and that this Court must be cautious in granting leave to appeal and in assessing the requirement of the prospect of success.


The Court was guided by the above reasoning as elucidated in Martin and East (Pty) Ltd v National Union of Mineworkers and Others and was not persuaded that the Applicant has made out a case for the granting of leave to appeal. The Court reiterated that the Applicant had failed to demonstrate that there are reasonable prospects of a successful appeal, as well as failing to furnish the court with compelling reasons as to why the appeal should be heard. Accordingly, the Court found the appeal to be without merit and dismissed the appeal.


The judgment highlights that the Labour Relations Act was deliberated to ensure the expeditious resolution of industrial disputes. Hence, there are checks and balances entrenched into the legislative framework of South African Labour Law which ensure the integrity thereof. Practically, this judgment highlights the need for caution when leave to appeal is granted, the Court being ever mindful of an array of factors when contemplating leave to appeal. Ultimately, the judicial integrity of the labour court was displayed in respect of leave to appeal.   

Written by John Mackechnie and supervised by Dingumuzi Ndhlovu

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