Electronic Records (Evidence) Act, 2009
Act 6 of 2009
- Commenced on 11 August 2009
- [This is the version of this document at 1 December 1998.]
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Electronic Records (Evidence) Act, 2009, and shall come into operation on the date of publication in the Gazette.
2. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—“computer system” means a device, or a group of interconnected or related devices, including the internet, one or more of which pursuant to a computer programme, performs automatic processing of data or any other function;“court” includes a tribunal, board and commission;“data” means—(a)any representation of facts, information or concepts in a form suitable for processing in a computer system;(b)any information recorded in a form in which it can be processed by equipment operating automatically in response to instructions given for that purpose; or(c)a programme suitable to cause a computer system to perform a function;“electronic record” means data that is recorded or stored on any medium in or by a computer system or other similar device and that can be read or perceived by a person or a computer system or other similar device, and includes a display, printout or other output of that data;“electronic records system” includes a computer system or other similar device by or in which data is recorded or stored and any procedures related to the recording or storage of electronic records;“electronic signature” means a signature that consists of one or more letters, characters, numbers or other symbols in digital form incorporated in, attached to, or associated with an electronic document;“evidence” includes all electronic records produced for the inspection of a court;“legal proceeding” means a civil, criminal or administrative proceeding in a court;“secure electronic signature” means an electronic signature that results from the application of technology or process prescribed by regulations made under section 16.
3. ApplicationThis Act applies to all legal proceedings in or before any court and to affidavits presented to any court or officer of any court.
4. Derogation from rule of law on authentication and best evidenceThis Act does not derogate from any rule of law relating to the admissibility of evidence, except the rules relating to authentication and best evidence which rules are derogated from in the manner provided for in sections 6 and 7, respectively.
5. Admission and authentication of electronic records
6. Evidence of electronic records
7. Application of best evidence rule to electronic records
8. Admissibility of electronic signature
9. Presumption of integrityIn the absence of evidence to the contrary, the integrity of an electronic records system by or in which an electronic record is recorded or stored is proven—
10. Standards, etc., may be consideredFor the purpose of determining under any rule of law whether or not an electronic record is admissible, evidence may be presented in respect of any standard, procedure, usage or practice concerning the manner in which the electronic records are to be recorded or stored, having regard to the type of business, enterprise or endeavour that used, recorded or stored the electronic record and the nature and purpose of the electronic record.
11. Proof by affidavitThe matters referred to in sections 7(2), 9 and 10 may be established by affidavit.
12. Powers of court to call for further evidence
13. Estimating evidential weight of electronic recordIn estimating the weight of any electronic record admitted under section 5, the court shall have regard to all the circumstances from which any inference can reasonably be drawn as to the accuracy or otherwise of the electronic record and, in particular—
14. Proof of matters
15. Offences and penaltiesAny person who, in a certificate tendered under section 6(2), (3), (5) or (6), in a court makes a statement which that person knows to be false or does not reasonably believe to be true commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding two thousand emalangeni or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or to both.
16. RegulationsThe Minister may make regulations providing for any matter which under this Act is to be provided for by regulations or for the better carrying out of the purposes and provisions of this Act.
History of this document
11 August 2009
01 December 1998 this version