Faces of Crime
'It hurts to this day': brother of murder victim Marc Batchelor
Former PSL striker Marc Batchelor took his lasts breaths outside his home in Olivedale, Johannesburg, on July 19 last year. Assassins riding motorcycles riddled his car with bullets.
Now, just over year later — and with police minister Bheki Cele set to release the annual crime statistics at 10am on Friday — no-one has been brought to justice for the slaying of the controversial but much loved footballer.
“It hurts to know that the people who took him from us are still walking free,” his brother Warren told TimesLIVE this week.
“We have no justice and we have no closure. The inevitability of life has forced us to move on and try and pick up the pieces, but it still hurts to this day knowing what they did to him.”
Former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates striker Marc Batchelor's funeral service was held in Midrand. Family and friends paid tribute to the slain legendary footballer. Most described Mark as a wild card with a big heart. Former football colleagues paid their respects with a few funny stories, and heavy hearts.
Batchelor spent his final moments slumped over in the seat of his car, a tight cluster of bullet holes in the window lending some insight into the shooter's deadly intent.
While the former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates star's early career was starlit by his achievements on the pitch, he steered towards controversy once his boots had been hung up. In 2007, Batchelor was banned from appearing as a SuperSport analyst after a string of nightclub brawls thrust him into the headlines.
It hurts to know that the people who took him from us are still walking free.Warren Batchelor
In the wake of his killing, Gauteng police brought a wave of resources to bear, investigating links to the drug trade and the underworld.
But after the attention died down, said Warren, so did the police’s interest.
“I have heard nothing from the police. I don’t know anything about their investigation. They may have leads or the case may have gone cold ... All I know is that those who are responsible have never been called to account,” he said.
The Sunday Times reported that the disappearance of a ton of cocaine, shipped into SA in 2018 by an eastern European crime syndicate, could be the reason behind Batchelor’s assassination.
The paper reported that a high-level police team was investigating the link, as well as Batchelor’s relationship with Serbian national Ivan Djordjevic, who was shot dead in a similar manner in his Bryanston home in April.
The two men had been in business together and it is believed their murders could have been revenge for the theft of the cocaine.
Whatever the motive, his family would like police to make progress on the investigation.
“I just want the triggermen to face justice, because right now they have gotten away with murder,” added Batchelor.