Andre Nel signed a three-year deal with Surrey after announcing his retirement from international cricket with South Africa.
The 31-year-old announced that he was calling it a day at international level after 36 Tests and 79 one-day internationals for the Proteas.
After rescinding his Cricket South Africa contract, Nel has now signed a three-year deal with Surrey to join their powerful pace attack.
After handing in his CSA contract, Nel can now sign as a Kolpak player, meaning Surrey can still sign New Zealander Grant Elliott as their overseas star.
"I am delighted to be joining Surrey as I enter a new phase of my career," said Nel.
"I have had a number of fantastic experiences here in the UK with South Africa, Northamptonshire and Essex and cannot wait to return to join up with Surrey.
"Surrey are a huge club, entering an exciting new era with (professional cricket manager) Chris Adams at the helm, and I am looking forward to using my experience to work with some of the younger bowlers on the staff and ensure they get back to the top of the English game.
"I cannot wait to arrive in April and pull on the Surrey shirt for the first game of the season."
Nel is the second new player signed by Adams, with the former Sussex captain charged with turning around the club who were relegated from Division One of the championship last year after failing to win a single match for the first time in their history.
"The addition of Andre Nel to the Surrey dressing room underlines the ambition I have for the club," said Adams.
"He has proven pace, power and wicket-taking ability and will be a fantastic addition to our pace team.
"As a proven international bowler, Andre will bring aggression on the pitch and experience off it.
"With exciting home-developed fast bowlers such as Jade Dernbach and Stuart Meaker also at the club, Surrey will be a force to be reckoned with in 2009 and beyond."