There are certain authentication requirements that apply to documents which are signed abroad but are intended for (legal) use in South Africa. These include many of the documents required for transfer of ownership of property.
How these documents must be authenticated depends on the country where these documents are signed. The following guideline will assist you.
In terms of High Court Rule 63, documents must generally be signed by the parties in the presence of:
An authentication certificate, signed by the above person, must be attached to the documents.
In this instance, it is sufficient for the documents to be signed in front of a Notary Public practicing in that country. The Notary Public shall identify the signatures, sign the document and affix his/her seal of office to the documents.
Otherwise, if the country is a member state, documents can be signed in front of a South African diplomatic or consular agent. These documents will then be authenticated by an Apostille, issued and signed by the above person.
It is of utmost importance that the correct procedure is followed, as non-adherence will cause delays as the deeds office or Court may insist that the documents be re-signed.For any queries in this regard, please contact LaurenS@stbb.co.za and see our note here.