Standard Bank of SA Ltd v Dlamini

Commissioner of oaths:  The high court interpreted the regulations relating to the signing of affidavits and the certification of oaths by commissioners and confirmed that the regulations are directory and not peremptory.  It was not necessary to examine whether the commissioner had asked all three questions.  The requirements are in regulations 1, 2, 3 and 4 of GNR 1258 of 21 July 1972, published ito s 10(1) of the Justice of the Peace and Commissioners of Oaths Act 16 of 1963.

(42232/2015) [2016] ZAGPPHC 26 (22 January 2016) per MW Msimeki J.

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[7]     Defendants contended that the affidavit in support of the application for summary judgment deposed to by Sohini Rubyksoon was fatally defective as it, according to them, failed to comply with the requirements for a certified affidavit as provided for in Government Gazette of 23 April 1982.

[8]     It was their contention that the commissioner of oaths failed to reflect that the deponent had said: “I swear that the contents of this declaration are true, so help me God.”

. . . . . .

[12]     Regulation 4(1) deals with the certificate of the commissioner of oaths which should disclose below the signature or mark of the deponent that the deponent has acknowledged that he/she knows and understands the contents of the declaration (affidavit) and also stating the manner, place and date of taking the declaration.

[13]     The respondents seem to say that the questions posed in regulation 2(1) as well as the oath referred to in regulation 1(1) have to be repeated verbatim. Ms Basson disagrees and states as her reason the fact that the purpose of the commissioner’s certificate is to certify that the relevant regulations have been complied with.  I agree.