Friday, July 29, 2011

Authentication of documents signed outside South Africa

If a document is to be signed outside of the Republic for use within the Republic, there are certain prescribed procedures to be followed for the document to be "authenticated" - this usually requires a trip to a Notary public and in some countries to our Embassy or Consulte for the appropriate official to attach an authentication certiciate before the document can be used here. The full rules are as follows:

Authentication of Documents


In this rule, unless inconsistent with the context –

"document" means any deed contract, power of attorney, affidavit or other writing, but does not include an affidavit or solemn or attested declaration purporting to have been made before an officer prescribed by Section 8 of the Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of Oaths Act, 1963 (Act 16 of 1963);

"Authentication" means, when applied to a document, the verification of any signature thereon.

  1. Any document executed in any place outside the Republic shall be deemed to be sufficiently authenticated for the purpose of use in the Republic if it be duly authenticated at such foreign place by the signature and seal of office –

    (a) of the head of a South African diplomatic or consular mission or a person in the administrative or professional division of the public service serving at a South African diplomatic, consular or trade office aboard (Para (a) substituted by GN R17663 of 13.12.1966); or

    (b) of a consul-general, consul, vice-counsul or consular agent of the United Kingdom or any person acting in any of the aforementioned capacities or a pro-consul of the United Kingdom; or

    (c) of any Government authority of such foreign place charged with the authentication of documents under the law of that foreign country; or

    (d) of any person in such foreign place who shall be shown by a certificate of any person referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) or of any diplomatic or consular officer of such foreign country in the Republic to be duly authorised to authenticate such document under the law of that foreign country (Para (d) substituted by GN R17663 of 13/12/1966.); or

    (e) of a notary public in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or in Zimbabawe, Lesotho, Botswana or Swaziland; or

    (f) of a commissioned officer of the South African Defence Force as defined in section 1 of the Defence Act, 1957 (Act 4 of 1957), in the case of a document executed by any person on active service
  2. If any person authenticating a document in terms of subrule (s) has no seal of office, he shall certify thereon under his signature to that effect.
  3. Notwithstanding anything in this rule contained, any court of law or public office may accept as sufficiently authenticated any document which is shown to the satisfaction of such court or the officer in charge of such public office, to have been actually signed by the person purporting to have signed such document.
  4. No power of attorney, executed in Lesotho, Botswana or Swaziland, and intended as an authority to any person to take, defend or intervene in any legal proceedings in a magistrate's court within the Republic, shall require authentication: Provided that any such power of attorney shall appear to have been duly signed and the signature to have been attested by two competent witnesses.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We're new and live on the net

Our new website is up and away!!! Wow, it's taken weeks of hard work, programming by our webmasters, finding photos and writing articles, editing and more editing. There's also loads of free stuff you can download off our linked Skydrive like sales agreements and wills, as well as useful info and costs calculators.

So go on and click on the link here, and see how much more we have to offer.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mc Naught and Company launches New Website!

After much development and design in conjunction with Dot Creative, Mc Naught and Company have today proudly launched our new and improved website.

This modern and progressive site provides a single port of call for a large number of legal queries and portrays the progressive views of the partners and staff.

Monday, July 04, 2011

National Credit Act

The National Credit Act has now been in force for a few years and it is time to reflect on the implications and effect of the Act. Everyone will remember the mortgage bonds and loans that were being thrown at the public before the Act was implemented. Over time, the value of not lending recklessly has been appreciated and our banks are far more cautious than previously in granting loans to people who may not be able realistically to afford the repayments.

July newsletter published

Our July newsletter is hot off the press and on it's way to our clients and friends. Click on the newsletter here to ennlarge and read it.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Checklist for Purchases

Buying a house may be the single biggest investment you make. To ensure a non-risky investment be aware of what to look out for before you sign…

Before buying a property, you or your lawyer should do the following:

1. Check that there are no pre-emption rights over the property you’re planning to buy and that there are no plans to construct anything (e.g. roads, railway lines, airports, shops, factories) that would adversely affect its value, enjoyment or use. Also, check that you are paying a fair market related price by getting an online property valuation that will give you actual sold prices of similar homes in the suburb, street or complex as well as an indication of the area trend. If you are concerned and wish to confirm the property ownership you can similarly get an indepth property ownership profile.

2. Check whether there’s a zoning policy in the town or area that may affect the property.

3. Check whether the property is subject to a compulsory purchase order.

4. Check whether there are any rights of way (e.g. for a neighbour) over the land and, if so, whether these are permanent or renewable.

5. Ensure that building permits and planning permissions are in order and that a property was built in accordance with plans and permits. Any modifications, renovations, extensions or additions (such as a swimming pool) must be included on the plans and be authorised. Building plans must be checked against the cadastral plan at the land registry.

6. In cases where a property has been inherited, check whether each inheritor has agreed to the sale. Heirs who haven’t been contacted may have the right to contest the will.

7. If a property was previously owned by a bankrupt company, ensure that the liquidator won’t reverse the sale and claim it for the creditors.

8. Check that there are no encumbrances, e.g. mortgages or loans, against a property or outstanding debts which you might inherit.

9. Enquire at the municipal offices whether there are any unpaid taxes such as property tax or other charges outstanding against a property.

10. In the case of a community property or sectional title property, check that there are no outstanding levies for the last five years (it may be possible for a vendor to pay the current year’s levy and ignore previous bills) and obtain copies of the scheme rules and the latest accounts of the body corporate (which should state whether there are any impending levies for repairs for which you would be liable).

11. Check that all bills for electricity, water, telephone and gas have been paid for the last few years. Receipts should be provided by the vendor for all such services.

12. If you’re buying land for building or planning to extend an existing building, obtain a certificate from the local town hall stating what can be built on it and what the property and the land can be used for. It’s important to check the size of dwelling that can be built on a plot or how far an existing building can be extended.

13. If the property is a listed building, check that there are no state pre-emption rights or restrictions on use or resale.

You should also ask your lawyer about your rights (e.g. to the return of your deposit and any other funds already paid) if it isn’t possible to complete the sale for any reason after an agreement of sale has been signed.

Mc Naught & Company are experienced in handling all of the above important points and ensuring that you are safeguarded in your important acquisition! Contact us now!