Johannes Frederik "Hans" Janse Van Rensburg

1898 - 1966

Johannes Frederik Janse Van Rensburg, best known as Hans, was born on 24 September 1898 in Winburg, Orange Free State.

He was a South African lawyer, and leader of the Ossewabrandwag.

He 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 travelled 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.

Sadly Van Rensburg passed away 25 September 1966 in Cape Town, two months after Robey Leibbrandt and was buried with full military honours.