Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1973
Act 22 of 1973
- Assented to on 28 February 1974
- There are multiple commencements:
- [This is the version of this document from 1 April 1975.]
|Chapter I (section 1–4); Chapter II, section 5–24; Chapter III (section 30–37); Chapter IV (section 38–41); Chapter V (section 42–43); Chapter VI (section 44–47)||commenced on 1 April 1975.|
|Chapter II, section 25–29||commenced on 1 April 1976.|
1. Short title and commencementThis Act may be cited as the Registration of Births and Deaths Act 1973 and shall come into operation on a date to be fixed by the Minister by notice in the Gazette provided that different dates may be so fixed for the coming into operation of any of the provisions of this Act.
2. InterpretationIn this Act unless the context otherwise indicates—"adult" means any person of the age of twenty-one years or upwards or any married person;"assistant registrar" means an officer appointed in terms of section 4(3);"birth" means the birth of any viable child whether such child is living or dead at the time of birth;"body" means any human dead body, including the body of any still-born child;"burial" means burial in earth, interment or any other form of sepulture or the cremation or any other mode of disposal of a body;"burial order" means an order given under any provision of this Act authorizing the burial of a body;"burial place" means any burial ground, whether public or private, or any place whatsoever wherein is buried, interred, cremated or otherwise disposed of or intended to be buried, interred, cremated or otherwise disposed of one or more bodies;"Chief" means a chief recognised as such under the Offices of Chief Order 1970;"child" means a person under the age of twenty-one years not being a married person;"death" means the cessation of life as indicated by a non functioning brain;"district registrar" means a person appointed or designated in terms of section 5 or lawfully acting as such, for any district or portion of a district;"magistrate" means a magistrate appointed in terms of section 5 of the Subordinate Courts Proclamation No. 58/1938;"Minister" means the Minister for the time being responsible for the administration of this Act;"name" includes a surname, except in section 16 where it does not include a surname;"occupier of a dwelling", in relation to any public or charitable institution or barracks, means any superintendent or assistant superintendent, gaoler, or medical or other officer or person in charge thereof; and in relation to any compound in connection with a mine, means any manager or superintendent or person in charge thereof; and. in relation to any premises let in lodgings or separate apartments, means any person residing in such dwelling under whom such lodgings or separate apartments are immediately held; and, in relation to any tent, vehicle or other place of residence, or place in or upon which any person may be born or die, means any owner when in occupation or charge thereof, and, if the owner is not in occupation or charge thereof any lessee or other person in occupation or having the charge, care or custody thereof;"police officer" means a member of the Lesotho Mounted Police;"registrar" means the Registrar of Births and Deaths designated under section 4 and includes an assistant registrar;"rural area" means any area which is not an urban area; "still-born" shall apply to any child which has issued forth from its mother after the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy and which did not at any time after being completely expelled from its mother, breathe or show any other signs of life;"urban area" means any area that is for the time being so designated by the Minister by Notice in the Gazette.
3. Registration of births and deaths compulsoryThe registration of the birth of a child, whether born alive or still-born, and of the death of any person dying after the commencement of this Act shall be compulsory.
4. General register office
5. Designation of district registrars
6. Duties of district registrar
7. Duty of district registrar on receipt of notice of birth or death
8. Births and deaths registrationSeparate books shall be kept by each district registrar to be called the "births register" and the "deaths register" and there shall be transcribed therein such information as to births and deaths as is prescribed.
9. Monthly returnsWithin ten days of the last day of each month every district registrar shall forward to the registrar a copy of all entries made by him during the preceding month in the registers of births and deaths required to be maintained by him.
10. Registers of births and deaths to be keptThe registrar shall keep alphabetical registers in the prescribed form—
11. Registers may be inspectedAny register in the custody of the registrar shall, upon payment of such fee as may be prescribed be open to inspection.
12. Certified copies of entriesThe registrar shall, upon payment of such fee as may be prescribed, furnish a certified copy of any entry in any register in his custody.
13. Evidence of certified copyA copy of an entry in any register certified under the hand of the registrar to be a correct copy shall be prima facie evidence in all courts of the dates and facts therein stated.
14. Clerical errors in registers may be correctedThe registrar may, subject to any rules made by the Minister, correct any error in any register Corrections shall be made without erasing the original entry and shall be authenticated by the signature of the registrar.
15. Registration of birth or death after one yearNo birth or death shall be registered after the expiry of one year from the date of such birth or death expected upon the written authority of the registrar and upon payment of the prescribed fee.
16. Alteration of name in births register
17. Alteration of surname in registerWhen the birth of any person has been registered and the surname under which the birth was registered is changed, the provisions of section 16 shall mutatis mutandis apply provided that no such change shall be recorded by the registrar unless evidence is produced to him that notice of such change has been published in the Gazette and a newspaper circulating in Lesotho at least 30 days before such application is lodged with the registrar.
18. Amplification of nameless birth registrationWhen the birth of any person has been registered without the assignment of any name to him, either of his parents or his guardian, if he is under 21 years of age, or he himself, if he is 21 years of age or over, or has no parent or guardian, may apply to the registrar for the amplification of the registration of his birth by the inscription of his name in connection therewith and thereupon the registrar shall, if satisfied that the applicant is competent to make the amplification and upon payment by the applicant of the prescribed fee amplify the registration of the said person’s birth by inscribing his name on the original birth information form filed in his office in connection with the registration of such birth and shall instruct the district registrar concerned to make a similar inscription in his births register.
19. Notice of birth of illegitimate childNo person shall be bound as father to give notice of the birth of an illegitimate child, and no person shall be registered as the father of such child except on the joint request of the mother and himself and upon his acknowledging himself in writing to be the father of the child in the presence of the registrar or a district registrar.
20. Amendment of birth registration of illegitimate child after legitimation
21. Alteration of births register or new registration on adoption
22. Change of sex of childIn the event of a child, after being registered, either by operation or otherwise, changing from a female to a male or from a male to a female and such change is certified by a registered medical practitioner, the district registrar of the district in which the birth is registered shall, with the approval of the registrar and on the application of the parent or guardian of that child, alter the particulars of such child which appear in the births register.
23. Information as to live new-born child found abandonedIf any live new-born child or the body of a new-born child is found abandoned, the person finding it shall, as soon as possible, give notice to a police officer or Chief or headman, and any police officer or Chief or headman who knows or is informed of the discovery of such a child or body so abandoned, and, in the case of a live new-born child, any person in whose charge such a child is placed and any person holding any official enquiry into or being aware of any circumstances relating to the abandonment, shall forthwith give to the district registrar of the district wherein the child or body was found the prescribed notice or information.
24. Duty of person holding inquest to give information to district registrarAny person holding an inquest or enquiry into the death of any person shall forthwith furnish to the district registrar the prescribed particulars in respect of that death.
25. Burial register to be kept
26. Information by undertakerAny undertaker or person having charge of any funeral shall obtain, as far as possible, and supply to the custodian or person having charge or control of a burial place whenever it has been arranged that a burial shall take place therein, such information as may be necessary to enable the custodian or person aforesaid to make the required entries in the burial register referred to in section 25.
27. Burial order in case of person dying outside a district in which it is desired to bury such person
28. Information as to persons enrolled for military service and as to deaths therein
29. Penalty for failing to give noticeAny person who, being under obligation to give notice of the birth of any child or the death of any person, fails to do so within the period herein provided or refuses or neglects to state any of the particulars in the form prescribed by regulations made under the provisions of this Act or who wilfully gives any false information or particulars for the purposes of registration, shall be guilty of an offence.
Information as to births and deaths in urban areas
30. Application of this ChapterThe provisions of this Chapter shall apply only within urban areas.
31. Responsibility for giving notice of birth
32. Notification of death and issue of burial order
33. When deceased attended by medical practitionerIn the case of the death of any person who has not been attended during his last illness by a medical practitioner if no inquest or other proceeding has been or is being instituted, or if no certificate by a registered medical practitioner is produced stating that to the best of his knowledge and belief the death was due to natural causes, or if though such a certificate is produced the district registrar to whom notice of death is given in terms of section 32 is not satisfied that the death was due to natural causes, the district registrar shall forthwith report to the magistrate such facts concerning the death as are known to him.
34. When deceased attended by medical practitioner
35. Procedure after criminal proceedingsWhenever the death of any person to whom this Act applies is the subject of an inquest or criminal proceedings, the fact of such death shall be notified and recorded in the prescribed manner, but the cause of such death shall not be recorded until notified by the officer presiding at the inquest, summary trial or preparatory examination.Every officer so presiding shall, upon entering his finding or verdict, or at the conclusion of the preparatory examination forthwith furnish to the district registrar particulars of the cause of death of the deceased person. Such district registrar shall enter such cause against the entry of such death in his death register, and advise the registrar of the cause of death and of the fact that the necessary entry has been made. The registrar shall thereupon make a corresponding entry in the register of deaths kept by him.
36. Restriction on removal of dead body
37. Removal orders
Information as to births and deaths in areas other than urban areas
38. Application of Chapter IVThe provisions of Chapter IV shall apply to any part of Lesotho to which Chapter III does not apply.
39. Notification of birth of child
40. Notification of death
41. Application of section 31 in non-urban areasThe provisions of subsection 2 of section 31 shall apply for the purpose of notifying information as to the delivery of still-born children in areas to which this Chapter applies:Provided that in any such area the certificate or declaration required by the said section shall be delivered to the Chief of the area in which the event occurred within 7 days after the delivery of the still-born child.
Registration of births occuring outside Lesotho
42. Application of Chapter VThis Chapter applies to a child who is a citizen of Lesotho and is born outside Lesotho before or after the coming into operation of this Act.
43. Application to be made within one year
44. RegulationsThe Minister may make regulations for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act and in particular but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, he may make regulations providing for all or any of the following—
45. TransitionalA district registrar may, upon being satisfied as to the particulars of birth, register the birth of any child born prior to the passing of this Act, where the registration of such birth was not compulsory under the Registration of Births and Deaths Proclamation 1947 and submit a copy of such registration to the registrar.
47. Repeal and saving
History of this document
01 April 1975 this version
28 February 1974