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You and Your Rights

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You and Your Rights

Please note that since this book was last published in 1997 some of the laws that have been referenced may have changed. We are doing our best to update the articles, however, it is advisable that you to consult an attorney before relying on any information contained herein.

Commissioner Of Oaths

Swearing to an affidavit

A commissioner of oaths is entitled to administer an oath and is the person before whom members of the public must sign an affidavit.

The following persons are among those who are qualified to act as commissioners of oaths for as long as they occupy the following positions:

  • An advocate;
  • An attorney;
  • The manager of a branch of a bank;
  • The principal, headmaster or headmistress of a school;
  • A South African National Defence Force officer of the rank of captain or adjutant of a unit or higher;
  • The medical superintendent, secretary, matron or nursing sister of a government-subsidised hospital;
  • The manager and superintendent of a private hospital;
  • Any assistant manager or other official of higher rank or the legal adviser of a registered insurance company;
  • The secretary, assistant secretary and designated agent of a registered bargaining councils;
  • A member of parliament (mp);
  • Any person appointed to act as a marriage officer;
  • An organiser in the full-time employment of a registered political party;
  • Certain post office employees;
  • All members of the police service, including temporary members and members of the police reserve when on duty;
  • All members of the Department of Correctional Services of the rank of sergeant or higher; and
  • The rector, vice-rector, chancellor, vice-chancellor, deputy vice-chancellor, principal, vice-principal, accountant, registrar, deputy registrar, assistant registrar, director, deputy director and faculty secretary of a university.

Only the more commonly encountered commissioners of oaths have been listed here - there are many other office-bearers, especially government officials, who are commissioners of oaths. Before administering an oath, a commissioner will ask you whether you:

  • Know and understand the contents of the declaration (the affidavit);
  • Object to taking the prescribed oath;
  • Consider the prescribed oath to be binding on your conscience.

If you acknowledge that you know and understand the declaration and inform the commissioner that you have no objection to taking the oath and that you consider the oath to be binding on your conscience, the commissioner will ask you to say: I swear that the contents of this declaration are true, so help me God'.

If you acknowledge that you know and understand the contents of the declaration, but object to taking the oath, or if you inform the commissioner that you do not consider the oath to be binding on your conscience, the commissioner must instead administer an affirmation by asking you to say: I truly affirm that the contents of this declaration are true'. You will then be required to sign the declaration in the presence of the commissioner. A deponent (the person taking the oath) who cannot write must make a mark (such as a cross) at the foot of the declaration in the presence of the commissioner. Then the commissioner must certify (below the signature or mark) that the deponent has acknowledged knowing and understanding the contents of the declaration. The commissioner must also state the manner, place and date of making of the oath or affirmation. Thereafter the commissioner signs the declaration and prints his or her full name, business address and designation (for example, 'Attorney of the Supreme Court of South Africa').

Commissioners may not charge a fee for administering an oath or affirmation or for signing a declaration, and may not administer an oath or affirmation relating to a matter in which they have an interest.

Disclaimer :: You and Your Rights
Although we have gone to great lengths to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this database, it is important to remember that laws, government departments, interest and taxation rates are constantly changing. If you have a particularly difficult problem you are advised to consult a qualified legal authority. The publishers, editors and their representatives cannot accept responsibility for any act or omission arising from consulting the information contained herein.
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General Disclaimer: The content of Legal City does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice, nor does it necessarily reflect the views of our management, staff, shareholders, associates, contributors, authors or suppliers. Even though every endeavour has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information we cannot be held responsible for any errors and/or omissions. By using this web site you agree to accept and abide by our terms and conditions.
This web site and all its content is copyright © 2000-2014, Legal City CC • Web site managed with qPortal Content Management v 4.0.0 • This page loaded on December 22, 2014 at 4:40:45 am, SA Standard Time.