LICHTENBURG, South Africa – As seers and prophets go, Nicolaas van Rensburg, a white South African who lived a century ago, has what is considered a fairly accurate track record, and residents of this embattled nation now are looking to his predictions as the key to their future.
“The prophet spoken of in hushed tones by the ANC, but with admiration by white South Africans, is none other than Seer van Rensburg,” says South African scholar and historian Adriaan Snyman, likely the man who best understands van Rensburg’s work and its implications for South Africa.
Snyman’s story and his dedicated quest to understand van Rensburg’s work is a long and captivating account. He was born in Lichtenburg, situated in the old West Transvaal, South Africa, close to Ottosdal, where Seer Nicolaas van Rensburg resided on his farm. On completion of his schooling, he went to work for the Department of Education in Pretoria and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree. Shortly thereafter, he became a journalist and worked for two Afrikaans newspapers, the Hoofstad in Pretoria and the Burger in Cape Town.
In an exclusive interview with WorldNetDaily, Snyman related how his interest in van Rensburg began.
Seer Nicolaas van Rensburg and his wife, Annie.
“Years ago, at about 5 o’clock one autumn morning, I was sitting in my cane chair reading 1 Samuel, chapter 9. Saul and his servant were looking for his father’s asses that had been lost. They found nothing, and when Saul wanted to go back, his servant advised him that they should consult a man of God.”
Snyman described this verse as God saying the following to Saul: “Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honorable man, all that he saith cometh surely to pass; now let us go thither; peradventure he can show us our way that we should go.”
“Something happened to me at that moment; A shudder went through me, a light flashed through my head, and as I stood up I spoke aloud to myself: ‘Have we not had our man of God and seer?’ Vague memories came to mind, and for a fleeting moment I saw myself in the countryside at Lichtenburg where my father was busy telling my brothers, sister and me about Seer van Rensburg, who always went to a hill behind his house during the day to read his Bible and pray. ‘And there God spoke to him,’ I heard my father say,” Snyman said. “This was what I could remember.”
Snyman said it was then that he “started searching, but just like Saul’s asses, Seer van Rensburg was lost to me. Then one morning at a place called Eloffsdal, Pretoria, he appeared before me in the form of old Mr. Paul Prinsloo, an 82-year-old ‘disciple’ and a person who knew all about Seer van Rensburg – a man who, even at that age, had bright and clear eyes. And for the first time since my childhood, I heard the following words: ‘Seer van Rensburg said …’ And from that time on, I met various other people who knew about the Boer Prophet and what he had said. Then information began coming to me like a flood. Today, I know without doubt – we had our own seer!”
Who was the seer, and what makes his prophecies unique?
“During the last quarter of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century, no one was more renowned in the Western Transvaal than Nicolaas van Rensburg, the seer,” Snyman told WorldNetDaily.
“He was a legend during his lifetime, and not only did famous generals of the Boer War, like De La Rey and Kemp, believe that he was a prophet, but statesmen like Gen. Hertzog, Louis Botha and J.C. Smuts on more than one occasion witnessed, even in Parliament, that Nicolaas van Rensburg’s prophecies came true during their lifetime.”
Snyman told WND that there is enough evidence to prove that Nicolaas van Rensburg was no charlatan.
“The only book he read was the Bible, and he believed that his visions came directly from God. And never did he practice occultism. He was a devoted Christian and never used his gift of prophecy for personal gain, nor did he attempt to impress anyone. He believed that you must live your life in honor of God, and many Bible verses are found in his prophecies. To this day, it has not yet been proven that any of his prophecies were false,” said Snyman.
“Seer Nicolaas van Rensburg, also known as the Boer Prophet, died in 1926, but even today he is still considered to be one of the most remarkable personages in our history. From 1871 (when he was only 7 years old) until his death in 1926, he had over 700 visions about his people in South Africa, other nations, as well as world affairs. Although many of his visions were passed on by word of mouth, during the last decade of his life he asked his daughter, Anna, to write down his daily visions.”
According to Snyman, some of the most accurate prophecies van Rensburg made between 1899, at the start of the Anglo-Boer War, and his death in 1926 include the outcome of the Boer War – victory for the British Empire – the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918, England’s later loss of all her colonies, independence for Ireland and the atomic disaster at Chernobyl on April 26, 1986.
“Van Rensburg also predicted the divorce and tragic death of a beautiful English lady in a car accident who would be mourned by the whole world, which I believe could be none other than the late Princess of Wales, Diana,” Snyman told WND.
Other prophecies, according to Snyman’s research, that proved accurate include van Rensburg’s assertion that the founder of “Grand Apartheid,” Dr. H.F. Verwoerd, would die at the hand of a close friend. “Grand Apartheid” proposed billions of rands for financing equal socio-industrial infrastructure in black homelands. Verwoerd was assassinated, say many Afrikaners, because his plan would have given the blacks a chance for equal development and thus would have made South Africa not only rich, but socially and culturally stable.
Van Rensburg also prophesied the release of Nelson Mandela by ex-President F.W. de Klerk and that South Africa would be governed by a black government.
In addition, van Rensburg predicted civil war in Bosnia. His predictions, Snyman said, after examining van Rensburg’s manuscripts housed in a museum in Lichtenburg, include prophecies that Japan will be destroyed by earthquakes, that racial violence will explode worldwide at the turn of the century and begin World War III, and that the UK would be hit by several plagues at the start of World War III.
“It is a chilling experience to read about van Rensburg’s predictions in 1920 of this coming third and final war at the beginning of the 21st century, when the armies of the world will use what he called ‘terrible electrical rays that sow death and destruction from above and below, and soak the earth in blood,’” Snyman said.
“The old prophet described the events on the battlefields of the world in such detail, as though he himself had been an eyewitness.”
Just who was Seer van Rensburg?
Nicolaas Pieter Johannes Janse van Rensburg was born on August 3, 1864, near the town called Wolmaransstad, South Africa, on the family farm, Rietkuil, where he spent his childhood. Like most children of his day, he grew up in difficult and turbulent times. At the age of 7, he started his schooling that lasted a mere 20 days; his father needed his help on their farm. From that time, he never had any formal education again.
From a tender age, he was perceived to be “different,” timid and reserved and never taking part in the mischievous pranks of other boys his age. Nor did he have any real interest in farming. He mostly enjoyed listening to his mother reading to him from the Bible. By means of the Bible, his mother was able to teach him, with difficulty, to read the book by spelling and deciphering the words one at a time.
From that time until his death, the Bible was the only book he ever read, and he had no interest whatever to read anything else, for he believed other books or newspapers were worldly things and did not spiritually enhance a person. By only reading the Bible, over a period of 55 years, he forecast what would happen worldwide in the future.
His mother, Anna Catharina van Rensburg, was a quiet, sensitive, soft-spoken woman who suffered from poor health. Nicolaas did not only take after his mother in character, but he also inherited her frailty. This was the main reason why there was such a strong bond between them until her death.
Just like his mother, he disliked violence to such an extent that he could not even stand seeing an animal being slaughtered. It is an enigma, therefore, that he joined the Boer forces during both wars and stayed until the end, even though he foresaw the disastrous outcome. He is also the only soldier in Boer history who never shot at or killed any of his enemies – he never carried a gun.
When he was still a toddler, his mother noticed that her son could “see” things, but he was then still too young to grasp and understand what was happening to him. His mother believed that if this gift was from God, her son would understand at a later stage. Even though she had always wondered how great this gift was that her son had received and asked him many times what he was seeing that made him so unhappy, he only stood staring at her with his deep penetrating blue eyes and would never utter a word. The look in his eyes was such that she wanted to take him to her and hug him.
Many people have said that his eyes put fear into them, and they did not want to look into them. Others said that they have never seen such sad eyes. It was as though he looked at people from an infinite depth and saw through them, as if he saw something far away that brought the sadness to his eyes.
How heavily this burden of prophet or seer rested on his shoulders, nobody would know, but at the age of 20, he had already started greying and was chosen as an elder in his church the following year. At 30, neighboring farmers older than he called him “Oom Niklaas.” “Oom” translates to “uncle” in English and is widely used among Afrikaners as a sign of respect for somebody older than oneself.
Many may wonder just how well-known van Rensburg’s prophecies are in both the English and Afrikaans languages.
Snyman believes he has the answer.
“In 1916, van Rensburg had a vision that toward the end of the century, the Afrikaners/Boers, his people, would become more and more interested in his visions,” Snyman said.
“At that time, he told a very good friend of his, Mr. Boy Mussmann, who lived in Vryburg, the following: ‘There will come a time when I will be much in the news again. At that time, I saw that we as a nation were still arguing amongst one another, and then suddenly we had a black government. Then only will the Afrikaners’ most bitter struggle begin. … I see a time when the whole world will be plowed under. (According to Snyman, this is the beginning of World War III, when everything will be in disorder and confusion will reign.) Then I saw a snake lying on the plowed land. I could not see its head or tail.’”
Since its publication in 1995, the book “Boodskapper van God” about van Rensburg has become a national best seller in Afrikaans, running through eight editions with nearly 50,000 copies sold, and it is still on the local best-sellers list. Snyman’s own work, the English translation “Voice of a Prophet,” is now in its second printing. The SABC made a documentary about the Seer in 1999, and it was televised no less than three times within as many weeks.
Says Snyman, “Van Rensburg’s visions are so well-known by his people that they are regularly discussed in Parliament, and some years back a prominent MP flew off the handle and [the scene] ended in a brawl with a member of the opposition.”
Snyman told WorldNetDaily that during a parliamentary discussion in January 1991, a Conservative MP mentioned a vision of Seer van Rensburg regarding a diamond the size of a sheep’s head that still lay undiscovered in the Western Transvaal diamond fields. Since then, diamond prospectors have been searching for this hidden sheep’s head-size diamond and constantly inquire as to when and where the diamond will be found.
Asked how ANC and South African Communist Party supporters feel about van Rensburg’s prophecies, Snyman was resolute.
“I don’t think they like what he said, because he not only predicted that thousands of blacks in Africa would die of hunger or a terrible sickness – perhaps, sadly, AIDS or Ebola – but also that one day the Afrikaner will take back his land and freedom,” he said.
Snyman said that he has been threatened by unknown parties about his work concerning van Rensburg.
“Since my wife, Annelize, and I started publishing the old seer’s visions in 1991, we have been intimidated in many ways. Someone will phone us at 2 o’clock in the morning and say, ‘The first person leaving your house tomorrow morning will be shot!’ Then he’ll hang up,” he said.
“Last year, I went on a nation-wide tour to inform my people about the seer’s predictions for the near future and warn them of a blood-bath that will follow the death of a prominent black man. Some party or parties tried to stop me by phoning my wife and telling her she would receive me back with a bullet in the head. Nevertheless, I finished my tour, visiting 64 towns and cities and speaking to about 30,000 people. At some of these meetings there were more English-speaking people than Afrikaners.”
Vision about AIDS/HIV
Snyman told WND that on Dec. 12, 1917, van Rensburg saw a large tank coming from the north of Africa. Fine sheep droppings rolled out from it. Snyman believes that this might be sexually transmitted diseases. The tank rolled south and the world changed into a dung yard.
Says Snyman, “A vision of van Rensburg on the 30th of March, 1918, links up with this one: A little old ‘Kaffir’ sits dressed in women’s clothing (he is homosexual) and dung rolls off him on the western side. (He is not only afflicted with this disease, but spreads it among the Western nations.) [Van Rensburg] then told his friend, Boy Mussmann, that ‘many millions will die of this terrible disease.’”
In a vision about Afrikaner freedom, van Rensburg said, “There will be more treason, more abuse, yes, I see more division and more flowing of blood than during the Rebellion.” (During the 1914 Rebellion, the Boers took up arms and sided with Germany.) This is not just our blood, but I also see an unbelievable miracle happening. When I saw this miracle, I knew only then that the struggle of my people (for freedom and a free country, a republic of their own) will be over, and then it will be the end of the time of my visions. …”
The second part of that vision, in van Rensburg’s words, says, “We are going to have more trouble with the blacks, for years ago, shortly after the War, I saw a small black person rising halfway out of the earth. Then I had another vision. I saw he had grown into a mighty warrior who now appeared fully out of the earth, and the shadow of the spear and shield he held above his head fell right across the land. This is far in the future. Then he disappears into fog. But before that time, I also saw darkness descending down over the land. My advice is, fight, even if you do so with your backs to the wall!”
Asked what the seer might say about South Africa if he were alive today, Snyman said, “Like ex-President P.W. Botha, he would refuse to appear before Bishop Desmond Tutu’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“I say this because shortly before his death in 1926, van Rensburg himself said, ‘Our nation will become free; I see them trekking inland where they congregate in a large mass; I see some going west, where they will fight and revolution breaking out among them, but everything will happen without any blood being shed. On the past of our nation, and on the present, there is no stigma; hope in the future and aim for the best you can achieve.’”
Concerning van Rensburg’s alleged unfinished manuscripts, Snyman told WorldNetDaily, “There are no unfinished manuscripts, only the two books containing his visions, as written down by Anna, his daughter, and they were nowhere to be found when I started my research in 1990. Even his surviving family did not know where they were.”
Snyman says that according to an article in the Sunday newspaper Rapport in 1981, these books disappeared after the death of his daughter and could not be found.
“Therefore, I believe it was an act of divine providence that I finally traced the books in the archives of the Lichtenburg Museum in 1991,” he said.
“When reading these visions, one realizes that the symbols and metaphors may contain the keys to things we do not yet understand in our times. In about 700 visions, the history of Nicolaas van Rensburg’s people, the Afrikaner, is sketched over a period of 100 years, fitting together like pieces of a puzzle.”
As for what the future holds for South Africa, Snyman said, “only Seer van Rensburg holds the key.”
Khosa October, a black ANC activist in Cape Town, told WorldNetDaily, “I don’t know if the prophecies of van Rensburg are true, but they sure give me the creeps. Apartheid was wrong, yes. The ANC has become so corrupt and the world has changed so much since Mandela was released from jail. Perhaps it is not beyond imagination, when one considers AIDS, that the whites will rule South Africa again.”