In terms of our High Court Rules, any document signed outside South Africa and which needs to be lodged in the Deeds Office in a property transaction, has to be properly and correctly authenticated.
Signature before a Notary Public is regarded as sufficient authentication for documents signed in the United Kingdom (excluding Ireland), Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana.
For all other countries, one of the following will be regarded as sufficient authentication:
- signature at a South African Embassy or Consulate; or
- signature before a Notary Public, whose signature is in turn authenticated by a local government/state authority in the form of an Apostille certificate.
Apostille certificates can however only be issued in countries which are party to the Hague Convention. Countries not party to the Hague Convention follow their own rules for the authentication of documents.