Bok van Blerk (born Louis Andreas Pepler; 30 March 1978) is a South African musician who sings in Afrikaans. He became famous in 2006 for his rendition of "De la Rey" by Sean Else and Johan Vorster.Tanya de Vente (Vrouekeur)
"Bok van Blerk, 'n bok vir sports
'', accessed 23 February 2007
The Department of Arts and Culture (South Africa), Department of Arts and Culture denounced "De la Rey", as it could be inspiration for Afrikaner nationalism#After apartheid, violent right-wing Afrikaner groups.

Early life and career

Van Blerk went to school at Hoërskool Die Wilgers in Pretoria.Rapport,
Hanlie Retief gesels met Bok van Blerk
'', accessed 23 February 2005
After his study, he spent time working abroad. In March 2006, Bok van Blerk and the Mossies released the album ''Jy praat nog steeds my taal'' (You still speak my language). The same album was rereleased in October 2006 under the name ''De La Rey'' and solely credited to Bok van Blerk. According to Van Blerk "and the Mossies" was removed because his fellow singer, Tanya van Graan, was too busy modelling. Van Blerk is accompanied by Jaco Mans (and occasionally Manie van Niekerk) on lead guitar, Francois Coetzee on bass guitar, and Nathan Smit on the drums.

"De la Rey" controversy

Image:Transvaaldelarey.jpg, Transvaal ''vierkleur'' flag with patriotic inscription On 6 February 2007, the South African Department of Arts and Culture issued a statement regarding the song "De la Rey" (which is a tribute to Koos de la Rey) regarding the controversy that arose due to the popularity of the song with some Afrikaners, who interpret the lyrics as a call to armed battle. At some of his concerts some audience members have flown the Flag of South Africa (1928–1994), old South African flag and the South African Republic, Transvaal Vierkleur. The Orange Free State flag is shown in the song's music video as part of the period scene depicted in the song and video. An article in ''Huisgenoot'' magazine challenged Minister Pallo Jordan to comment on the song and the message it is said to contain. In the statement the Department deplored the possibility that the song could be hijacked by right-wing circles, but wished the singer good luck. The Minister also stated that he has no problem with protests or mobilisation from the opposition, as long as they occur within the framework of the law.DKK
Ministry of Arts & Culture on Bok Van Blerks’s Supposed Afrikaans “Struggle Song,” De La Rey and Its Coded Message to Fermenting Revolutionary Sentiments.
, accessed 23 February 2007
Van Blerk himself says that he does not identify himself with the old South African flag, nor does he want to be associated with it. But he does promote Afrikaans and has refused to participate in the concert organised by the 94.7 Highveld Stereo radio station because of their policy not to play Afrikaans music.Die Burger
Bok sê aikôna vir ou landsvlag én 94.7
accessed 23 February 2007
He also makes it clear that he does not side with the Boeremag, that he does not believe violence to be a solution to problems and that General De la Rey was pro-peace. Koos Kombuis also points out that Van Blerk's Rugby football, rugby-song is about a coloured rugby player, Bryan Habana.Litnet]
Bok van Blerk en die bagasie van veertig jaar
, accessed 23 February 2007
For the sake of his own survival, Bok was forced to print a disclaimer on the sleeve of his second album, ''Afrikanerhart''; "Afrikanerhart is not a song that calls for any form of revolution or uprising. The song comes from the musical 'Ons vir Jou', and all that we want to say is that the Afrikaner also shed blood while building South Africa. If we respect all cultures and their history, we can together all make this country stronger". (Translated from the original Afrikaans)



* ''Platteland'' (2011) * ''As jy sing'' (2013) * ''Vrou Soek Boer'' (2014) * ''Leading Lady (film), Leading Lady'' (2014) * ''Blood & Glory'' (''Modder en Bloed'', 2018)


External links

Bok van Blerk's homepage

(with YouTube video)
Bok van Blerk's fanpage

about van Blerk's ''De la Rey''
''De la Rey'' music video
from MK89 on YouTube
Video interview with Bok van Blerk about "De la Rey"
on Beeld webwerf
Bok van Blerk's ''De la Rey'' on iTunes UK & Europe

Bok van Blerk's ''De la Rey'' on iTunes USA
{{DEFAULTSORT:Van Blerk, Bok South African singer-songwriters 1978 births Afrikaans-language singers Afrikaner people Living people South African people of Dutch descent South African male singers White South African people