Section 4(1)(b) of the Deeds Registries Act ("the Act") has been abused by unscrupulous elements to deprive registered owners of property of their registered rights of ownership. This illegal practice severely compromises the integrity of the deeds registration system and the confidence of the public in it. This circular therefore is intended to educate and sensitise both examiners and conveyancers to the requirements and limitations of the use of the section and to map out the manner in which it should be applied in order to stop further abuse.
Section 4(1) endows the Registrar of Deeds with limited powers to rectify errors in registered deeds - i.e. its provisions can be used only to correct errors which occurred on registration of the deed. Where the description of natural persons changes after registration of the deed due to reasons other than errors in registration, then the provisions of section 93 or section 17(4) of the Act may be applicable.
In the case of natural persons, their description consisting of the following three elements:
- full name
- identity number
- marital status
is analysed in the light of changing their description, how, and under what circumstances.
In the case of juristic persons the circumstances as to when and how their description - i.e. name and registration number can and cannot be changed in terms of section 4(1)(b) are discussed.
Chief Registrar's Circular No. 2 of 2010