The office of notary public in South-Africa

The Attorneys Act defines a notary as “any person duly admitted to practice as a notary in any part of the Republic”. Elliott defines a notary as “a public functionary authorized by the high court to draw and attest contracts and other documents and to authenticate public acts”. A contract or document executed before a notary is referred to as a “notarial contract” or “document” (as opposed to an “underhand contract”).

A “notarial deed” is defined as “a deed attested by a notary public, and does not include a document a signature to which is merely authenticated by a notary public, or a copy of a document which has been certified as correct by a notary public”.

The Act provides that a notary may practice within the area of jurisdiction of any court in which he or she has been enrolled.  However, a notarial deed which creates or conveys real rights in land must be executed by a notary practicing in the province in which the land is registered.  No person may be enrolled as a notary unless he or she is also enrolled as an attorney.

Louwrens Koen - Notary Public - South-Africa

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