Civil Proceedings Evidence Act, 1965
Act 25 of 1965
- Published in South African Government Gazette 1066 on 24 March 1965
- Assented to on 15 March 1965
- Commenced on 30 June 1967 by Date of Coming into Operation of the Civil Procedings Evidence Act, 1965
- [This is the version of this document as it was from 24 March 1965 to 21 July 1977.]
1. DefinitionsIn this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates -“Minister” means the Minister of Justice;“Republic” includes the territory of South-West Africa.
Part I – Admissibility of Evidence
2. Evidence as to irrelevant mattersNo evidence as to any fact, matter or thing which is irrelevant or immaterial and cannot conduce to prove or disprove any point or fact in issue shall be admissible.
3. Evidence of non-access by husband and wifeFor the purposes of rebutting the presumption that a child to which a married woman has given birth is the offspring of her husband, she or her husband or both of them may give evidence that they had no sexual intercourse with each other during the period when the child was conceived.
4. Evidence of genuineness of disputed writingsComparison of a disputed writing with any writing proved to be genuine may be made by witnesses, and such writings and the evidence of any witness with respect thereto may be submitted as evidence of the genuineness or otherwise of the writing in dispute.
5. Proof of law or anything published in official publications
6. Proof of signature of public officerAny document purporting to bear the signature of any person holding a public office and bearing a seal or stamp which purports to be the seal or stamp of the department, office or institution to which such person is attached, shall, on its mere production, be prima facie proof that such person signed such document.
7. Proof by party calling witness, of previous inconsistent statement of such witnessAny party who has called a witness who has given evidence in any civil proceedings (whether that witness is or is not, in the opinion of the person presiding at such proceedings, adverse to the party calling him) may, after the said party or the person so presiding has asked the witness whether he has or has not previously made a statement with which his evidence in the said proceedings is inconsistent, and after sufficient particulars of the alleged previous statement to designate the occasion when it was made, have been mentioned to the witness, prove that he previously made a statement with which his said evidence is inconsistent.
Part II – Competency of Witnesses
8. Save as otherwise provided, every person competent and compellable to give evidenceSave in so far as this Act or any other law otherwise provides, every person shall be competent and compellable to give evidence in any civil proceedings.
9. Incompetency from insanity or intoxicationNo person appearing or proved to be afflicted with idiocy, lunacy or insanity, or to be labouring under any imbecility of mind arising from intoxication or otherwise, whereby he is deprived of the proper use of reason, shall be competent to give evidence while so afflicted or disabled.
10. Husband and wife not compellable to disclose communications between themNo husband shall be compelled to disclose any communication made to him by his wife during the marriage and no wife shall be compelled to disclose any communication made to her by her husband during the marriage.
11. Dissolution of marriage does not affect privilege which existed during marriageNo person whose marriage has been dissolved or annulled shall be compelled to give evidence as to any fact, matter or thing which occurred during the subsistence of the marriage or supposed marriage, and as to which he or she could not have been compelled to give evidence if the marriage were subsisting.
12. No witness compellable to testify if husband or wife not compellableNo person shall be compelled to answer any question or to give any evidence which the husband or wife of such person, if under examination as a witness, could not be compelled to answer or give.
13. When evidence of communication alleging commission of an offence is admissibleNotwithstanding anything contained in any legal provisions in terms of which a witness shall not be compellable or permitted to give evidence in respect of certain matters on grounds of public policy or from regard to public interest, it shall be competent for any person in any civil proceedings to adduce evidence of any communication alleging the commission of an offence, if the making of that communication prima facie constitutes an offence, and it shall be competent for the person presiding at such proceedings to determine whether the making of such communication prima facie does or does not constitute an offence, and such determination shall, for the purposes of those proceedings, be final.
14. Witness not excused from answering question by reason that the answer would establish a civil claim against himA witness may not refuse to answer a question relevant to the issue, the answering of which has no tendency to incriminate himself, or to expose him to penalty or forfeiture of any nature whatsoever, by reason only or on the sole ground that the answering of such question may establish or tend to establish that he owes a debt or is otherwise subject to a civil suit.
Part III – Sufficiency of Evidence
15. Admissions on recordIt shall not be necessary for any party in any civil proceedings to prove nor shall it be competent for any such party to disprove any fact admitted on the record of such proceedings.
16. Sufficiency of evidence of one witnessJudgment may be given in any civil proceedings on the evidence of any single competent and credible witness.
Part IV – Documentary Evidence (General Provisions)
17. Proof of trial and conviction or acquittal of any personThe trial and conviction or acquittal of any person may be proved by the production of a document certified or purporting to be certified by the registrar or clerk of the court or other officer having the custody of the records of the court where such conviction or acquittal took place, or by the deputy of such registrar, clerk or other officer, to be a copy of the record of the charge and of the trial, conviction and judgment or acquittal, as the case may be, omitting the formal parts thereof.
18. Certified copies of or extracts from public documents admissible in evidence
19. Production of official documents
20. Certified copies of or extracts from official documents sufficient
21. Penalty for issue of false certificateAny person who wilfully certifies any document admissible in evidence under this Act, as being a true copy or extract, knowing that it is not a true copy or extract, shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.
22. Proof of certain facts by affidavit
23. Preserving testimony
24. Depositions of witnesses taken on commissionNothing in this Act contained shall be construed as rendering inadmissible the depositions of witnesses taken on commission in terms of any law.
25. Official reports as evidence in applications for orders presuming death of soldiers
26. Evidence of times of sunrise and sunset
Part V – Documentary Evidence (Special Provisions as to Bankers’ Books)
27. Definition of “bank”In this Part “bank” means a “banking institution” as defined in the Banks Act, 1965, and includes the Land and Agricultural Bank of South Africa, the Land and Agricultural Bank of South-West Africa and a building society.[The Banks Act 23 of 1965 has been replaced by the Banking Institutions Act 2 of 1998.]
28. Entries in bankers’ books admissible in certain casesThe entries in ledgers, day-books, cash-books and other account books of any bank, shall be admissible as prima facie evidence of the matters, transactions and accounts therein recorded, on proof being given by affidavit in writing of a director, manager or officer of such bank, or by other evidence, that such ledgers, day-books, cash-books or other account books are or have been the ordinary books of such bank, and that the said entries have been made in the usual and ordinary course of business, and that such books are in or come immediately from the custody or control of such bank.
29. Examined copies of entries in bankers’ books admissibleCopies of all entries in ledgers, day-books, cashbooks or other account books used by any bank, may be proved as evidence of such entries without production of the originals, by means of the affidavit of a person who has examined the same, stating the fact of the examination and that the copies sought to be put in evidence are correct.
30. Notice of intention to adduce evidence relating to entries in bankers’ books
31. Bank not compelled to produce books unless ordered to do soNo bank shall be compelled to produce its ledgers, day-books, cash-books or other account books in any civil proceedings unless the person presiding at such proceedings orders that they shall be so produced.
32. This Part not to apply to proceedings to which bank is a partyNothing in this Part contained shall apply to any civil proceedings to which any bank whose ledgers, day-books, cash-books or other account books are required to be produced in evidence, is a party.
Part VI – Documentary Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions)
33. DefinitionsIn this Part, unless the context otherwise indicates -“document” includes any book, map, plan, drawing or photograph;“statement” includes any representation of fact, whether made in words or otherwise.
34. Admissibility of documentary evidence as to facts in issue
35. Weight to be attached to evidence admissible under this Part
36. Proof of instrument to validity of which attestation is necessaryIn any civil proceedings an instrument to the validity of which attestation is requisite may, instead of being proved by an attesting witness, be proved in the manner in which it might be proved if no attesting witness were alive: Provided that nothing in this section contianed shall apply to the proof of wills or other testamentary writings.[The word “contained” is misspelt in the Government Gazette, as reproduced above.]
37. Presumptions as to documents twenty years oldThere shall in any civil proceedings, in the case of a document proved or purporting to be not less than twenty years old, be made any presumption which on the fifteenth day of March, 1962, would have been made in the case of a document of like character proved or which purported to be not less than thirty years old.
38. SavingsNothing in this Part shall -
Part VII – Oaths and Affirmations
40. Affirmations in lieu of oaths
41. When unsworn or unaffirmed testimony admissible
Part VIII – General
42. Cases not otherwise provided forThe law of evidence including the law relating to the competency, compellability, examination and cross-examination of witnesses which was in force in respect of civil proceedings on the thirtieth day of May, 1961, shall apply in any case not provided for by this Act or any other law.
43. Application of Act to South-West AfricaThis Act and any amendment thereof which may be made from time to time shall apply also in the territory of South-West Africa, including the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel referred to in section three of the South-West Africa Affairs Amendment Act, 1951 (Act No. 55 of 1951).
44. Repeal and amendment of lawsThe laws mentioned in the Schedule are hereby repealed or amended to the extent set out in the fourth column thereof.
45. Short title and date of commencementThis Act shall be called the Civil Proceedings Evidence Act, 1965, and shall come into operation on a date to be fixed by the State President by proclamation in the Gazette.
History of this document
22 July 1977 amendment not yet applied
Amended by Criminal Procedure Act, 1977
30 June 1967
24 March 1965 this version
15 March 1965
Cited documents 1
Documents citing this one 24
- Namibia Government Gazette dated 2003-06-24 number 3002
- Namibia Government Gazette dated 2003-08-18 number 3043
- August 26 Holdings (Pty) Ltd and Others v Broad–Based Network and Others (HC-MD-CIV-ACT-CON- 4219 of 2020)  NAHCMD 249 (18 May 2022)
- Damaseb v Minister of Land Reform and Others (HC-MD-CIV-MOT-REV 248 of 2017)  NAHCMD 143 (10 May 2019)
- Grobler v Grobler and Others (HC-MD-CIV-APP-AMC-2021/00015)  NAHCMD 518 (21 August 2023)
- Gross t/a Joes Beer House v Meintjies' (SA 4 of 2004)  NASC 8 (15 December 2004)
- Husselmann and Others v Saem and Others (229 of 2016)  NAHCMD 183 (7 July 2017)
- Ipinge v Lukas (1833 of 2011)  NAHCMD 106 (23 April 2018)
- Ipinge v Nakuumba and Another (1833 of 2011)  NAHCMD 45 (11 February 2020)
- Muruko v Mieze (CRIMINAL 37 of 2013)  NAHCMD 228 (31 July 2013)
- Namibian Competition Commission v Santam Namibia Ltd (HC-MD-CIV-ACT-OTH- 3064 of 2021)  NAHCMD 433 (24 August 2022)
- Nawa-Mukena v Multichoice Namibia (Pty) Ltd (1) (HC-MD-CIV-ACT-DEL 3567 of 2017)  NAHCMD 12 (21 January 2020)
- Nedbank Namibia Limited v Kruger and Another (HC-MD-CIV-ACT-CON- 4954 of 2018)  NAHCMD 21 (1 February 2023)
- Nghimwena v Government of Republic of Namibia (2) (27 of 2011)  NASC 20 (22 August 2016)
- Rentokil Initial 1927 PLC v Demtschuk t/a Rentokil and Others (SA 88 of 2016)  NASC 406 (10 October 2018)
- S v Johannes (CC 7 of 2020)  NAHCNLD 11 (15 February 2022)
- Shared Advertising CC t/a Shared Petroleum v In Touch Cargo Namibia (Pty) Ltd (HC-MD-CIV-ACT-CON- 1259 of 2021)  NAHCMD 485 (9 September 2022)
- Sibonga v Chaka and Another (77 of 2014)  NASC 16 (19 August 2016)
- South African Airways Soc Limited v Camm and Others (HC-MD-CIV-ACT-DEL- 2479 of 2016)  NAHCMD 103 (10 March 2022)
- United Africa Group (Pty) Ltd v Uramin Incorporated and Others (2) (SA 9 of 2017)  NASC 410 (23 November 2018)