The attestation at the end of an affidavit is not a formality.  It is a serious part of every affidavit and must be carefully checked for correctness every time.

A female witness in court proceedings signed an affidavit in the presence of a commissioner of oaths but the commissioner of oaths certified in the standard ending that “he” as opposed to “she” understood the contents of the declaration and swore to its truth.  The court in Absa Bank v Botha, NO found that the affidavit was irregular.

Check that the declaration at the end of an affidavit reflects the gender of the deponent correctly

The reader should not be required to speculate as to the true gender of the person signing the affidavit.  Because the affidavit was inherently contradictory and irregular, it was not accepted for the purpose of summary judgment proceedings and judgment was refused.

You should remember:

  • When preparing or signing any affidavit, to ensure that the contents and the declaration at the end of the affidavit correctly reflect the gender of the deponent.
  • When taking an oath as a commissioner to check the declaration carefully to make sure that there is consistency in describing the gender of the deponent, and make the necessary amendments where required