Edictal citation is ordered when a Defendant is or is believed to be outside the Republic and the exact whereabouts of the Defendant is unknow. No document whereby proceedings are instituted shall be served outside the Republic of South Africa, unless permission is granted by a Court.

In the case of serving a Summons in another country, you will in the first instance be required to convince a court by way of an Edictal Citation Application that you have exhausted all other means of service on the Defendant and that there exists no other way of service of a Summons on the Defendant.

In your Application you will be required to list details of the relevant Sheriff who will attend to the service of the Summons in another country. You will furthermore be required to set forth the nature of your claim, grounds upon which your claim is based and grounds upon which the court has the necessary jurisdiction to hear the application. The manner of service which you request will also need to form part of your application.

Should the manner of service be service of a document other than that of personal service you will be required to provide a court with and set out the last-known whereabouts of the Defendant and furthermore state all efforts made to ascertain the present whereabouts of the Defendant.

Any document to be served in another country shall be accompanied by a sworn translation thereof into an official language of that country, together with a certified copy of the process of the document and such translation. The Registrar of the court shall deliver the document together with the translation to the Director-General of Foreign Affairs for service in the foreign country concerned.

The court may make an order as it deems fit in respect of:

  • The manner of service;
  • The time within which the Defendant has to give notice of intention to defend.

An application referred to hereinabove is done in terms of Rule 5 of the Uniform Rules of Court.

Should you require any assistance in respect of such an application, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices.