Great Britain

Dad-of-six buried INSIDE his trusty Mercedes with his hands on the steering wheel

A DAD-OF-SIX and politician from South Africa has been buried inside his trusty Mercedes with his hands on the steering wheel.

Tshekede Pitso, 72, who was a high-ranking member of the United Democratic Movement, collapsed and died last week while walking towards the car outside his home.

His family said that before his death he had expressed a wish to be buried in the car, a 1980’s E500 Mercedes.

A grave was dug out specially at a family burial plot in the village of Jozana on the Eastern Cape, and Pitso was transported there inside the car on the back of a trailer.

Pictures show funeral directors guiding the car down ramps and into the grave.

South Africa is currently on lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak, and the funeral saw many villagers flouting the measures to attend.

Daughter Sefora Letswaka, 49, said: “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.

“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 [he] 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 honoured his wish and hope he is happy looking down on us.” she said after the funeral in Jozana village in Sterkspruit which is in the Eastern Cape.

Pitso formerly owner a chain of supermarkets, and was also a respected local chef.

He would reportedly like to sit in the car to relax and listen to music.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said: "You were flamboyant even in death, and I’m not surprised you asked to be taken to your final resting place in your favourite Mercedes Benz.”

Thabiso Mantutle, director of the Phomolong Funeral Parlour, said: “We have never had such a request before to be buried in a car and it was a difficult and stressful task to undertake.

“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."

He added that the parlour had to get "all the official permissions from all the relevant authorities to carry out the funeral".

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