Siener (Seer) Johannes

My prophecy has always had a home.


‘A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.”

I am the Fisher King come to awaken the Sleeping Magi for there is a comet coming and in this comet I see SION. Yesterday I was compelled to take pictures of me in my hoody. The first one was taken in my hallway where I keep my great wooden… antique fishing poles. Amy Oles pointed out my FB pic of e looks like a fisherman. Last week I ended my friendship with Mecuria Hermes when she deleted our dialogue on the Magi. I suggested we follow the comet to Sion. I told her I was considering authoring a novel about a Woman Magi. I believe I found her. What will be, will be. Yesterday I saw my beautiful doctor who is trying to heal me of my prostate cancer, my groin injury. There was blood after I was pierced in order to open the flow. She bid me to drink a lot of water. I am ION. I have come to prepare ‘The Way’. Repent! “
We are going here, after we go to Holland. This is the observatory of the Magi in Persia. Does this remind you something. From here we will behold

Nicolaas Pieter Johannes (“Niklaas” or “Siener”) Janse van Rensburg (3 August 1864 – 11 March 1926)[1] was a Boer from the South African Republic – also known as the Transvaal Republic – and later a citizen of South Africa who was considered by some to be a prophet of the Boers (a segment of the Afrikaners[citation needed]). Consequently, his nickname became Siener (Afrikaans for “seer” or “soothsayer”). Van Rensburg’s visions were typically wrapped in a patriotic, religious format, and have been interpreted by believers as predictions of future events. During the Boer War he became a trusted companion, if not advisor to General de la Rey and President Steyn. The extent of his influence with these figures is disputed,[2][3] though the devoutly religious de la Rey seemed to have considered him a prophet of God.[2][3][4]

Van Rensburg was born on the farm Palmietfontein in the Potchefstroom district, the son of Willem Jacobus Janse van Rensburg and Anna Catharina Janse van Rensburg. He only received 20 days of formal school training at the Rooipoort farm school, and spent much of his youth as a cattle herder. He could never write, but assisted by his mother, he learnt to read from the Bible. He never read anything else.

At age 16, he participated in a government expedition against the rebellious tribal leader Mabhogo. He contracted and survived malaria on the expedition and afterwards settled near Wolmaranstad in the then western ZAR. At age 21 he was an elected elder for the Hervormde Kerk, perhaps due to his scriptural knowledge. He married Anna Sophia Kruger in 1884.

Boer war[edit]

Van Rensburg and his brother Pieter were commandeered to participate in the second Anglo-Boer War under General Sarel P. du Toit. Van Rensburg however remained unarmed and never fired a shot. His contribution was to be a stream of visions and prophesies for the duration of the war. As the seer would later explain, he believed that a nightly visitor woke him only a day before the outbreak of the war, with a message that his work was dedicated to God.[2]

Following this vision, van Rensburg was beset with a fear that would not dissipate. When this disturbed state continued into their sojourn in Kimberley, his superiors sent him home. Experiencing no relief, he returned to the Siege of Kimberley, where he believed a new vision had revealed to him the defeat and loss of life that the war would bring about.[3] Shortly afterwards, possibly at Graspan, his disturbed state lifted permanently as a soldier was wounded on his side, as, according to van Rensburg, another vision had forewarned. Van Rensburg then travelled with general Piet Cronjé but escaped the encirclement by British forces at Paardeberg. Subsequently, he travelled with different commandos, where a number of apparently accurate predictions established his reputation.

A report of his visions attracted the attention of General de la Rey, who recruited Van Rensburg for his commando.[3][5] On 7 December 1900, General de Wet found himself cornered against the Caledon River, which was in flood, while British forces were assailing his position. When his surrender appeared imminent, a message from De la Rey was delivered by a Boer scout. Van Rensburg had allegedly foreseen the situation and the message outlined an escape route, which was duly followed, leaving the pursuers to flounder in the torrent which De Wet had just traversed.[6] De la Rey, also hard pressed by his enemy, dispatched Van Rensburg to accompany President Steyn to Roodewal, De Wet’s safe retreat in the northern Free State. Here Van Rensburg advised them to wait upon two horsemen which he described, who arrived the next day with a message from acting President Schalk Burger.[6]

On 13 September 1901, van Rensburg found himself in the camp of Commandant Roux at Rietkuil near Vredefort. Sensing imminent danger, he advised those present, who had just retired for the day, to depart from the camp at once. Roux was slow to take heed, and his men even more so, as scouts had not observed enemy units. Van Rensburg, his wife and children escaped on a cart, shortly before the greater part of the camp was captured in a surprise attack.[7]

Flight from the enemy[edit]

In January 1901 Van Rensburg had a vision indicating the flight of three Boer women, who were soon found and rescued by his host Willem Bosman.[6] Days after rejoining De la Rey’s commando he had visions of members of his own family being captured, and asked for leave to assist them.[6] The Van Rensburg family fled from their farmhouse as British forces approached, but the wagon train carrying the elderly, women and neighbours was surprised and captured by traitors the following morning. Van Rensburg’s parents, eldest daughter Hester and four younger children were subsequently interned at the Mafeking concentration camp.

Van Rensburg, his wife, eldest son Willem and two daughters travelled with a group which managed to evade their pursuers, and Van Rensburg once again joined De la Rey’s commando. Upon meeting his wife again in mid October 1901, they found their farmhouse destroyed. Van Rensburg’s ominous premonition concerning their daughters, Anna and Maria, was confirmed when news arrived that they and two relatives had died during an outbreak of measles in the concentration camp.[1][6]

Closing stage of war[edit]

Van Rensburg was present when Commandant Van Aardt’s company returned from the action at Yzerspruit on 25 February 1902. Van Aardt was in a despondent state as his brother was missing in action. Van Rensburg however assured him that his brother was neither dead nor captured, but alive, though in great pain. The wounded soldier was returned to camp the same evening, carried on the horse of a burgher who found him.[7]

Before the Battle of Tweebosch, Van Rensburg gave a number of predictions indicating how the enemy would approach along the Harts River, and when he deemed them most vulnerable. He also envisaged how the victory would enhance De la Rey’s reputation. Methuen‘s force collapsed in the face of De la Rey’s sudden attack on 7 March 1902, and Methuen was captured.[7]

On 17 March 1902,[8] President Steyn, in the company of De Wet and Hertzog, arrived at Zendelingsfontein, De la Rey’s headquarters near Klerksdorp, to consult De la Rey’s physician about an eye ailment.[6][8] Van Rensburg was once again dispatched to guard the president. Around the 23rd he had a vision of English troops arriving, but the president was unwilling to heed his warning, until De la Rey intervened urgently on Van Rensburg’s behalf. The president departed for the safety of the Molopo River on the evening of the 24th. British troops arrived at Zendelingsfontein during the early hours of the 25th and captured two of De la Rey’s adjutants.[6][9]

Gaining entry to General Kemp‘s war council in the bushveld region, he soon warned them against attacking a retreating enemy, which would leave them vulnerable to encirclement. At the subsequent Battle of Harts River on 31 March 1902, some British units did fall back, though some Canadians stood their ground until overpowered by burgher forces. Kemp, though partially or grudgingly heeding the seer’s visions, was generally reluctant to give him credit.

World War I Rebellion[edit]

When the Union of South Africa came out in support of the Allied Powers in World War I, Van Rensburg allied with the rebels who sided with Germany. The rebellion received a fatal blow even before it started, when the influential general Koos de la Rey was accidentally killed on 15 September 1914.

De la Rey, when killed, was en route to General J.G.C. Kemp, who subsequently organised the rebellion in western Transvaal. On 2 November, Kemp addressed a public meeting at Vleeskraal, near Schweizer-Reneke, with the locally influential Van Rensburg at his side. Van Rensburg also addressed the assembly, and assured them that his visions indicated they had little to fear. 610 men then joined the rebel cause, and with conscription imminent, the number of rebel volunteers grew to 1,800.

General Kemp decided on a company of 720 men, mostly farmers, which included Van Rensburg and his son. They departed immediately on a journey to join Manie Maritz in German South-West Africa. After a desert trek and much hardship they linked up with Maritz’s company on 29 November. Rebels under De Wet and Beyers were rounded up by South African forces in the days that followed.

Returning to South Africa, Maritz and Kemp engaged government forces at Nous, Lutzputs and finally at Upington, on 3 February 1915. Van Rensburg’s son Willem was mortally wounded in the Upington clash, and the whole rebel force captured, with the exception of Maritz who fled via German South-West Africa, to Angola and from thence to Portugal.[10] Van Rensburg, like his comrades, received a prison sentence. He however served about a year, first in Boksburg, then in the Old Fort, Johannesburg.[6]

Post-war years[edit]

After his release Nicolaas van Rensburg returned to his farm Rietkuil, near Wolmaranstad. Some of his visions were then recorded by reverend Dr. Rossouw. Van Rensburg’s daughter Anna Badenhorst also recorded a set of visions up to his death at age 61. The latter set is considered to be difficult to interpret and not very coherent.

With the outbreak of World War II, the collections of visions were considered inflammatory. Distribution was prohibited and some copies seized on orders of prime minister Jan Smuts. Upon Anna’s death her handwritten documents were transferred to Lichtenburg museum’s archives, where they were rediscovered in 1991. The farm and van Rensburg family cemetery are located 11 km from Ottosdal, in the North West Province.


His mother commented on his visual hallucinations as a toddler, and said that these seemed to disturb him. General Hertzog described him as someone continuously distracted by a maze of imagery and symbolism.[11] 700 visions have been documented.[citation needed]

Van Rensburg interpreted his hallucinations as visions that were usually connected to the welfare of the Boere, the Netherlands and Germany. For example, a vision of the sisal plant was interpreted as a portent of an important meeting, assembly or parliament. Van Rensburg’s visions have been described by some as predictions of local events, such as the death of general Koos de la Rey[3] and the political transition of South Africa.[12] Van Rensburg and his followers have also interpreted his visions as being connected to international events, such as the start of World War I[2] and the rise of Communism.[6] He did not interpret all of his visions, and some have been posthumously applied to more recent events as prophecies.[citation needed]

Reitz’s assessment[edit]

Boer soldier Deneys Reitz‘s account of the Boer War contains a colourful objective account of one of the seer’s predictions (shortened):[4]

… a prophet, a strange character, with long flowing beard and wild fanatical eyes, who dreamed dreams and pretended to possess occult powers. I personally witnessed one of the lucky hits while we were congregated around the General’s cart. Van Rensburg was expounding his latest vision to a hushed audience. It ran of a black bull and a red bull fighting, until at length the red bull sank defeated to its knees, referring to the British. Arms outstretched and eyes ablaze, he suddenly called out: See, who comes?; and, looking up, we made out a distant horseman spurring towards us. When he came up, he produced a letter from General Botha, hundreds of miles away.

General de la Rey opened it and said: “Men, believe me, the proud enemy is humbled”. The letter contained news that the English had proposed a peace conference. “Coming immediately upon the prophecy, it was a dramatic moment and I was impressed, even though I suspected that van Rensburg had stage-managed the scene. Of the general’s sincerity there could be no doubt as he firmly believed in the seer’s predictions.”


The Orange Free State (Dutch: Oranje-Vrijstaat,[a] Afrikaans: Oranje-Vrystaat,[b] abbreviated as OVS[2]) was an independent Boer sovereign republic in southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century, which later became a British colony and a province of the Union of South Africa. It is the historical precursor to the present-day Free State province.[3] Extending between the Orange and Vaal rivers, its borders were determined by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1848 when the region was proclaimed as the Orange River Sovereignty, with a seat of a British Resident in Bloemfontein.[4]

In the northern part of the territory a Voortrekker Republic was established at Winburg in 1837. This state was in federation with the Republic of Potchefstroom which later formed part of the South African Republic (Transvaal).[4]


Boer (/ˈboʊ.ər, bɔːr, bʊər/;[2] Afrikaans: [buːr]) is the Dutch and Afrikaans noun for “farmer” or peasant.[3] In South African contexts, “Boers” (Afrikaans: Boere) refers to the descendants of the then Dutch-speaking settlers of the eastern Cape frontier[4] in Southern Africa during the 18th and much of the 19th century. From 1652 to 1795 the Dutch East India Company controlled this area, but the United Kingdom incorporated it into the British Empire in 1806.[5]

In addition, the term “Boers” also applied to those who left the Cape Colony during the 19th century to settle in the Orange Free State, Transvaal (together known as the Boer Republics), and to a lesser extent Natal. They emigrated from the Cape primarily to escape British rule and to get away from the constant border wars between the British imperial government and the indigenous peoples on the eastern frontier.[5][need quotation to verify][6]

The term Afrikaner is generally used in modern-day South Africa for the Afrikaans-speaking white population of South Africa.[7]


Opposition to South Africa’s involvement in World War I[edit]

With the outbreak of the First World War, a crisis ensued when Louis Botha agreed to send troops to take over the German colony of South West Africa (now Namibia). Many Boers were opposed to fighting for Britain and against Germany. Also, many were of German descent and Germany had been sympathetic to their struggle so they looked to de la Rey for leadership. In Parliament he advocated neutrality and stated that he was utterly opposed to war unless South Africa was attacked. Nevertheless, he was persuaded by Botha and Jan Smuts not to take any actions which might arouse the Boers. De la Rey appears to have been torn between loyalty to his comrades-in-arms, most of whom had joined the Hertzog faction, and his sense of honour.

Siener van Rensburg attracted large crowds with accounts of his visions in which he saw the whole world consumed by war and the end of the British Empire. On 2 August he told of a dream in which he saw General de la Rey returning home bare-headed in a carriage adorned with flowers, while a black cloud with the number 15 on it poured down blood. The excited Boers took this as a sign that de la Rey would be triumphant, but van Rensburg himself believed the dream warned of death.


On 15 September 1914 an old comrade General C.F. Beyers, Commandant-General of the armed forces, resigned his commission and sent his car to fetch de la Rey from Johannesburg to Pretoria as he wished to consult with him. The two generals then set out that evening for Potchefstroom military camp where General JCG Kemp had also resigned. They encountered several police roadblocks but refused to stop; the roadblocks had in fact been set to capture the Foster gang.[4] At Langlaagte the police fired on the speeding car and a bullet struck de la Rey’s back, ending his life;[4] his last words were dit is raak (‘It hit’). He returned to his Lichtenburg farm as van Rensburg had predicted. Many Boers were convinced he had been deliberately assassinated, while others could not believe that he would have joined a rebellion, breaking his oath. According to Beyers, the plan was to co-ordinate the simultaneous resignation of all the senior officers in protest at the attack on South West Africa. The theory of a government assassination holds sway to this day.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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