Death of a U.S. Citizen

Death is a time of crisis for one’s family and friends no matter where it takes place. If death occurs overseas the experience can be even more traumatic, especially if the procedures involved are not clearly understood.

You may reach us during normal working hours (8:00 a.m. to 17:00 p.m M-Th or 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Fri) at 011-290-3000 ext 3510 Johannesburg, 031-305-7600 Durban, or 021-702-7300 Cape Town . The Consulate emergency duty officer can be reached after working hours and on weekends by telephoning 079-111-1684 (Johannesburg), 079-111-1445 (Durban), 079-111-0391 (Cape Town). For international call to South Africa please dial  +27-79-111-1684 Johannesburg, +27-79-111-1445 Durban, +27-79-111-0391 Cape Town.

When we learn of the death of an American citizen in South Africa, we will determine as quickly as possible whom the deceased’s Next of Kin is and contact that person by telephone immediately. There are several important things that the Next of Kin must do in conjunction with the Consulate.

It is unfortunate at this sad time that we must immediately call your attention to the need for making necessary arrangements relating to the disposition of the deceased’s remains. The following link contains information submitted in accordance with referenced requirements to provide current data on local laws on the disposition of remains. Disposition of Remains Report (PDF 409 KB).

Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad

In order to assist you with legal matters that may arise as a result of the death of your relative, a Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad prepared by the US Consulate General will be forwarded to you as soon as possible. It can generally be used in U.S. courts to help settle estate matters.

Twenty sealed copies of the Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad, issued at the time of death, will be provided to you free of charge.  The original will be sent to the Department of State for permanent filing.  If in the future you find that you need additional copies, they can be obtained for a fee of fifty dollars. If you need additional copies, please send a written request together with a check or money order made payable to the Department of State to the following address:

U.S. Department of State
Passport Services Correspondence Branch
1111 19th St., NW, Suite 510
Washington, D.C. 20522-1705

Please do not hesitate to contact the American Citizens Services (ACS) Section at the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban.