What is an Authenticate Certificate?

 An Authentication Certificate is a Certificate issued by the South-African government authenticating the seal or signature of a public official on an Australian public document, including that of a notary public to assist Embassies and Consulates legalise documents for use in their countries. Authentication is governed by Rule 63 of the High Court rules, which rule, reads as follows:


" Authentication of documents executed outside the republic for use within the republic.—(1) 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 eight of the Justices of the Peace and


Commissioners of Oaths Act, 1963 (Act No. 16 of 1963);


“authentication” means, when applied to a document, the verification of any signature thereon.


(2) 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—




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 abroad; or


[Para. (a) substituted by GN R2047 of 1996.]




of a consul-general, consul, vice-consul or consular agent of the United


Kingdom or any person acting in any of the aforementioned capacities or a proconsul


of the United Kingdom; or




of any Government authority of such foreign place charged with the


authentication of documents under the law of that foreign country; or




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; or


[Para. (d) substituted by GN R2047 of 1996.]




of a notary public in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


or in Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Botswana or Swaziland; or


[Para. (e) substituted by GN R960 of 1993.]


( f )


of a commissioned officer of the South African Defence Force as defined in


section one of the Defence Act, 1957 (Act No. 44 of 1957), in the case of a


document executed by any person on active service.


(3) If any person authenticating a document in terms of sub-rule (2) has no seal of


office, he shall certify thereon under his signature to that effect.


(4) 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 office, to have been actually signed by the person purporting to have signed


such document.


(5) 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.


[R. 63 amended by GN 2410 of 1991. Sub-r. (5) substituted by GN R960 of 1993.]


(Editor’s Note: The Convention abolishing the requirement of legislation for foreign public


documents and the list of states who are signatories thereto was published in GN 773 in


Government Gazette 16609 of 18 August 1995 and added to by GN 1199 in Government


Gazette 16830 of 24 November 1995.)




Written by Louwrens Koen Saturday, 18 February 2017 Posted in Apostille FAQ