HUNDREDS of relatives and friends of the humble super-cop Piet Byleveld, who died last month at the age of 66, celebrated his life with heartfelt tributes and personal letters at his funeral yesterday.
The legendary detective died on May 24 after losing his lengthy battle against lung cancer.
His wife Elize wrote a letter in which she expressed that he was the love of her life and thanked him for his amazing coffee and pampering as well as for his love and patience.
“Dankie vir al jou liefde, geduld en bederf. Jy het n spesiale plekkie in my hart, die pint van my hart, daar sal
jy bly. (Thank you for your love, patience and spoiling. You have a special place in my heart and that is where you will always stay),” she said.
According to Elize, her “skattebol’s” final conversations with her were very emotional and she recalled how he asked her not to be shy to cry as not doing so would affect her in the long run.
Byleveld did not have children of his own but was father and grandfather to his wife’s children.
Elize was the super-sleuth’s second wife, who he married in 2011.
Members of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Police Service honoured Byleveld as a great detective.
Advocate Yolinda Freimond said the memorial service was “about all of us coming together, giving back to him respect and time.”
Advocate Herman Broodryk, also from the NPA, paid homage to his friend and colleague by describing various court experiences.
According to Broodryk, Byleveld worked on exceptional cases, which included the Bruma Lake serial killer and the Leigh Matthews murder cases.
“The man never slept. He was always alert and prepared to take on the most difficult cases,” said Broodryk.
“Over the years, a lot has been said about Piet Byleveld’s powers as a detective, and I subscribe to all of that.”
“One (case) that was close to my heart is the prosecution for the Bruma Lake serial killer, which I did myself in 2001-2002.
“I will rather give you a glimpse of the real Piet Byleveld.
“He was a man who cared, his humanity never faulted, even in the face of evil,” he said.
Broodryk said his friend always remained calm in the witness box, and demanded to testify in Afrikaans.
Byleveld’s body left the Rosebank Union Church in Sandton, where the service was held, in a coffin that was placed on a bed of roses before moving to the crematorium.
LEGEND: The funeral service of legendary detective Piet Byleveld was held at the Rosebank Union Church yesterday.