[imagesource: Alon Skuy]
Yesterday, Marc Batchelor was laid to rest at The Crossing Church in Midrand.
The former South African footballer was killed in a hail of bullets on July 15, and as more information has emerged, it has become clear that he had made some very dangerous enemies.
It was recently reported that he may have had a hand in the theft of a ton of cocaine smuggled into SA late last year, with an Eastern European crime syndicate potentially ordering the hit.
At his funeral, his brother Warren was forthright about his tumultuous relationship with his brother, as IOL reports:
Warren said the family dispute drove them apart and said their relationship was on the mend, until he got the phone call that his brother had been murdered outside his house last Monday night.
“Marc was no angel. In the past few years he lost his way. It was during this time that he pushed me away along with his close friends because of some stupid argument. We were planning to reconcile and then I got that call,” said Warren, before crying on stage.
In a TimesLIVE video, you can see some of Warren’s emotional tribute to his brother.
There is also a rather interesting story from former Bafana Bafana striker Mark Williams, about a brawl involving the two:
Many friends and former colleagues admitted that Batchelor’s life had veered off course in the past few years, with Archie Henson saying that his sacking from his role as a SuperSport analyst was a big catalyst:
He said Batchelor changed, and some of his old and dear friends, could not even recognise who he was anymore.
“Some of you would have seen Batch change over time to someone we never knew,” he said listing a long list of close friends…
“He said he regretted the people he had hurt and ignored, he explained that after he retiring from soccer and losing his SuperSport contract, finances did become an issue,” said Henson.
He said the former footballer was too proud to ask for help from anyone else after falling on hard times, so instead, he got involved with the wrong crowd.
“It would bother him immensely to ask for help, this forced him to become more isolated and anti-social, but he still told people around him everything was fine. He said he had to survive and the way he was living was only temporary,” said Henson.
Henson added that Batchelor was planning on leaving Johannesburg and settling “in the outskirts of the country” with his fiancée Cheré Gray [pictured right up top], his dogs, and his friend Pexy Nyirongo, who was with him in the car when he was killed.
Earlier in the week, it emerged that a Johannesburg private investigator was arrested in connection with the alleged theft of the cellphone of Batchelor, and he has now broken his silence.
Speaking with TimesLIVE at yesterday’s funeral, Jean Cotton described his arrest as “sickening”:
“My lawyers are preparing to litigate against the police for what they did to me. Marc was one of my best mates. He had come to me for [financial] help when those who were closest to him had abandoned him. Why would I do anything to harm the investigation into his death?” he said.
Cotton [with the tattoos below], who was taken in for questioning at the weekend by Gauteng Organised Crime Unit detectives for allegedly being possession of Batchelor’s cellphone, was released on Monday after all charges against him were dropped…
“The cops have got phones, but are they Marc’s? No one can say. They have the phone of a friend’s of Marc’s, which I was holding for him at the scene, while he was talking to someone, which I gave to the cops shortly before they arrested me.
“What happened to Batch is sinister. I have no idea of the motive. No one does. He had come to me for help and I was trying to get him right. Lots of people had turned on him and he was having a lot of fallouts. I’m not sure what they were about.”
Perhaps the final words should go to the pastor at The Crossing Church in Midrand, Tony Sivewright, where the funeral was held.
Sivewright described how he had been helping Batchelor, who was a bad boy, to reconcile with those who he “had had beefs with”.
“Some reconciliations worked. Some, however, did not. Most Sundays when Marc was at church he would, after the service, ask for prayer and mercy.
“Today he is at peace. There is no more hustling.”
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