The last will of a South African ex-politician has been carried out. Tshekede Buffon Pitso (72), who died last month, did not want to be buried in a coffin but had expressed the wish to be ordered down to earth in his Mercedes.
Bufton Pitso once headed the division of the Social Democratic Opposition Party, United Democratic Movement (UDM), in Eastern Cape Province. Besides being a politician, he was also a businessman. He once prospered, which enabled him to buy a range of Mercedes cars.
He had to get rid of the German class cars after he had to swallow some financial setbacks. With his shrinking budget, he was able to get a second-hand Mercedes E500 from the 1990s. The vehicle was no longer able to take to the track, but Bufton Pitso didn’t care. The senior liked to get behind the wheel to listen to the car radio. The man collapsed in his driveway at the end of March and died.
The last wish of the politician from the village of Sterkspruit was to be buried in the Mercedes. His family consulted funeral director Thabiso Mantutle. He agreed. “We have never experienced such a strange request,” he told South African media. “We had to fill in a lot of papers and find the right dimensions. The slope of the grave also had to be large enough so that the trailer could reach the 2.5-meter deep pit with the Mercedes ”.
The body had previously been placed behind the wheel and fastened the seat belt. South Africa has had extensive lockdown measures since March 27 – two days before the funeral – to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. Many ignored the ban on non-essential travel and still attended the funeral. The photos that Bufton Pitso’s family distributed from the farewell ceremony go viral.