Hi,The MD of my company has used my sign...

Asked by RN on 28-04-2020 16:00:12
Question posted in the General Law category relating to Gauteng
Question value: R 150.00


The MD of my company has used my signature to photoshop it on a letter, without my consent. 

How do I deal with this?

Further information relating to Question:

He has used electronic signatures before so he has it on record, but its always on instruction and with consent.

Information Requested by Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 28-04-2020 16:28:50

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

Well, what the MD has done is to have committed fraud in that he/she wrongly inserted your electronic signature into a document when you did not consent. 

How you deal with it really does depend on what letter it was. Was it a letter of resignation, or something else?

Let me know?

Att. Patrick

Please remember this is a dialog if you have follow up questions please use the REPLY button and ask. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered. I hope you found my answer helpful, and you have finished asking your questions, please click on the GREEN ACCEPT button in order to mark the question as closed.

Information provided by client

Hi, This is the letter he has used it for. I'm just afraid he may have used it for other purposes. How do I confront him about this (I would like to send an email)

Dear Sir,


The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a major influence on our business for some time before it arrived in South Africa.

YYYY, our biggest client, started scaling back development from early on in this year based on the learnings from their Chinese business. This placed huge pressure on our cash flow in the run-up to the lockdown is South Africa. ZZZ and GGGG, our other two major clients, are both under considerable financial pressure in South Africa due to reduced consumer spending within the LSM bracket they trade in, as well as the lockdown.

XXXX has also taken the decision to defer most of their new builds and remodels to 2021 which will further put a huge strain on our cash flow for the foreseeable future. None of our clients is classified as essential services and as such have not been able to trade during the lockdown period.

Our clients are not currently in a position to pay our invoices due to them not earning any revenue which is placing even further pressure on our cashflow. As architects, we are also unable to attend client meetings, visit the construction sites where our designs are being implemented, submit drawings to the local authorities for approval, etc.

Due to the aforementioned, the directors of MEA has not been in a position to draw salaries from the business and as such we have suffered a severe loss of income.

Yours sincerely

XXXX | Director

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 29-04-2020 11:16:50

In my opinion, you having "signed" the letter on behalf of the company does not create any liability on you personally, like reckless/fraudulent trading would. I don't think that anything will come back to haunt you about this letter. In fact, the letter is not really controversial and is merely a recordal of the facts that your company is busy dealing with. 

However, this does not mean that your MD was correct in putting your name at the bottom. 

Given that you are a director of the company, you need to speak to the MD frankly about what happened. You need to have an honest conversation with him about why he did it, and you should tell him that you are not happy that he used your signature without your consent. 

As I said above, this actually constitutes a fraud because the MD has fraudulently used your signature. It is like him actually signing your name on a letter using a pen. It is fraud. 

You need to tell him that you do not approve of what he has done and that he should not do it again, and if he does, you are going to consider your options in order to protect yourself from any harm as a result. 

Information provided by client

Can you please draft a letter for me?

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 30-04-2020 17:54:45

Sorry, I am afraid that drafting a letter exceeds the services of this website. We can give you advice, but we can't actually do work on your behalf - like drafting a letter. 

Rather, keep the letter simple and from the heart. Just explain that you are not comfortable with what he did, and you would like it if he didn't do it again. Ask him if he would like it if you did that to him. Then you could also add in that technically it constitutes forgery, and you do not think that he should be doing this.

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