Tshekede Bufton Pitso, a prominent South African politician has been buried in his beloved Mercedes as requested.
Pitso who died last week was a former leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) in Eastern Cape.
It is gathered that his last wish was to be buried in the Mercedes instead of a conventional coffin.
It is further learned that the late former businessman once boasted of an impressive garage as he had an entire fleet of luxurious Mercedes cars.
However, crumbling finances forced him to sell them in recent years but he managed to buy a used E500. Even though it had broken down and couldn’t be driven, he still enjoyed spending time in it and listening to the car radio. It was his favorite thing in the world and he even told his family he wanted to be buried in it when his time came.
His wish was granted last week as he was buried in the vehicle.
Despite the coronavirus outbreak and resultant lockdown, many turned up for the burial of Chief Pitso who was known as a flamboyant but staunch supporter of the UDM.
The parlor in charge of the funeral told members of the press that honoring the wishes of the family in regards to the unusual coffin was difficult and stressful.
“We have never had such a request before to be buried in a car and it was a difficult and stressful task to undertake,”
Thabiso Mantutle, director of the Phomolong Funeral Parlor, said.
“We had to make sure we had all the correct measurements to completely bury the car and to construct the ramp to get it in the grave and get all the correct paperwork done.”
Photos taken at the bizarre funeral show Tshekede Bufton Pitso in the driver seat of his beloved Mercedes, with the seat belt on and his hands on the wheel, as a number of people struggle to slowly lower the vehicle into the eight-feet-deep grave dug by an excavator on the Pitso family’s burial plot.
“My father was once a wealthy businessman and had a fleet of Mercedes cars but towards the end he hit on hard times and they went,” Tshekede’s 49-year-old daughter, Sefora Letswaka, told journalists. “About two years ago he bought himself a second hand Mercedes Benz. It wasn’t long before it broke down but he still spent much of his time in it outside the house. He couldn’t drive it but that was where he was happy and spent much of his time sitting behind the wheel.”
“He said when the time came he wanted to be buried in it. We listened to him and honored his wish and hope he is happy looking down on us,” Sefora added.
Though unusual to bury people in vehicles, this is not the first time it is happening in Africa.
A couple of years ago, a Nigerian man honoured his father by burying him in a $90,000 brand new BMW X5, and five years ago, another Nigerian businessman buried his mother in a Hummer SUV.