Johannes Van Rensburg

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Johannes Van Rensburg
Born Johannes Frederik Janse Van Rensburg
24 September 1898
Winburg, Orange Free State (present-day South Africa)
Died 25 September 1966
Cape Town, South Africa
Alma mater University of Pretoria

Johannes Frederik Janse Van Rensburg (known as Hans) (24 September 1898 – 25 September 1966) was a South African lawyer, and leader of the Ossewabrandwag.

He was born in Winburg[1] and died in Cape Town and was a descendant of the Loyalist Johannes Frederik Janse Van Rensburg. He received his MA in German from University of Stellenbosch, and his bachelor's and doctor's degrees in law from University of Pretoria.

Van Rensburg qualified as a solicitor and was hired as the personal secretary of Tielman Roos, the Minister of Justice. In 1933, he became Secretary of Justice (under Smuts as Minister). As Secretary, he traveled overseas. In Germany, he met Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, and other top Nazi officials. He was greatly impressed with Hitler's leadership and the discipline he observed in Germany.

In 1938, he helped organize the Ossewabrandwag as a vehicle for Afrikaner nationalism though often at odds with the National Party, the main driver of Afrikaner Nationalism. Van Rensburg was the commander general of the Ossewabrandwag from 1941 until 1952. Like most members of the Ossewabrandwag, he was regarded as a German sympathizer during the Second World War.

Van Rensburg died two months after Robey Leibbrandt and was buried with full military honors.


  1. ^ Christoph Marx, The Ossewabrandwag As a Mass Movement. p.389.
  • Rees, Philip (editor). Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890. 1991, ISBN 0-13-089301-3