S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Neser, Prof Christiaan Petrus (veterinary medicine)

Born: 31 May 1889, Venterstad, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Died: 17 June 1929, Pretoria, South Africa.

Christian Petrus ("Christo") Neser was the son of Francois Nicolaas Neser and his wife Aletta Sophia, born Spies. With other members of his family he spent some time in the concentration camp at Norval's Pont during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). After the war he completed his schooling at Grey College, Bloemfontein, where he captained the first cricket team and was a member of the Students' Representative Council. He passed the matriculation examination of the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1907 and in 1910 was awarded a BA degree by the same institution [not by the University of Cape Town as his obituary and Posthumus (1990) have it]. He was variously employed at the Simmer and Jack mine on the Witwatersrand, as a teacher, and as a surveyor for the railways in Natal, before qualifying as a veterinarian in Ireland (MRCVS, Dublin) in 1919. In his final year of study he won both the William's Memorial Prize and the Walley Memorial Prize.

In 1920 Neser was appointed as research officer at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Institute and also as the first lecturer (later professor) in veterinary medicine at the newly formed Faculty of Veterinary Science at Onderstepoort. He served for a short while at the Allerton Veterinary Laboratory in Natal as officer in charge during 1920. In 1921 he was awarded a DSc degree in zoology by the University of South Africa for his thesis The blood of domestic equines. A paper based on his thesis was published in the South African Journal of Science (1922). A subsequent paper by him in the same journal dealt with "The longevity of Bacillus abortus Bang, in emulsion" (1926) and three years later he developed an improved vaccine against contagious abortion in cattle. He also investigated and reported on horsesickness (1926); "bloedpens", or lamb dysentery (1926); and vlei poisoning (1929).

Neser is reported to have died from an overdose of morphine, having been a drug addict. He was married to Pauline, born Du Plessis, with whom he had three children.

List of sources:
Author and Subject Index to the Government Veterinary Reports of the Transvaal and Union of South Africa (1903-1932). Pretoria: Department of Agriculture, June 1937.

Catalogue of theses and dissertations of South African Universities (in digital form, University of South Africa).

Christiaan Petrus (Christo) Neser. Geni. Retrieved from https://www.geni.com/people/Christiaan-Petrus-Neser/6000000060398654897 on 2018-2-19.

National Archives Repository (TAB), Source MHG, Vol. 0, Ref. 69280: death notice, Christiaan Petrus Neser.

[Obituary] Dr C.P. Neser (1889-1929). Journal of the South African Veterinary Medical Association, 1929, Vol. 1(3), pp. 85-86.

Posthumus, P.J. Past Veterinarians in South Africa, Vol. 2, 10th edition, [1992].

Robinson, E.M. The development of veterinary bacteriology in South Africa. South African Journal of Science, 1932, Vol. 29, pp. 41-53.

South African Journal of Science, 1922, Vol. 19 and 1926, Vol. 23: Papers by Neser.

University of the Cape of Good Hope. Calendar, 1909/10, 1912/3.

Compiled by: D.W. Verwoerd