JOHANNESBURG, July 16 – Former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates forward Marc Batchelor was killed by gunmen in Johannesburg on Monday evening.
A murder investigation has been opened by police after Batchelor died in a hail of bullets fired by two men on motorcycles as he was pulling into a driveway in Olivedale at around 6pm on Monday.
Pictures have shown his car’s windscreen riddled with bullet holes and the police have confirmed that no items were stolen, adding to the belief that this was an assassination.
A hard-man on the field, since retiring from the game Batchelor had been reported to having been on friendly terms with numerous controversial figures in the Johannesburg crime underworld.
“MB was quite a colourful individual and often popped up in somewhat nefarious circumstances,” journalist Mandy Wiener, who wrote in the book ‘Killing Kebble, an underworld exposed’, wrote on Twitter after Monday’s shooting.
“He was involved in assaulting a businessman at a Parkhurst restaurant. He was very close to Mikey Schultz and the self-confessed Brett Kebble killers. He was regularly seen with them out and about,” Wiener added.
She also said that Monday’s incident ‘fits the modus operandi completely’ in terms of an organised crime assassination.
Batchelor had also surfaced during Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius’s trial for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
The former footballer had claimed that Pistorius has threatened to break his legs after believing he had slept with his then-girlfriend Samantha Taylor.
During his career, Batchelor was well-liked by soccer fans for his wholehearted and uncompromising approach to the game in which he seldom came off second best in the physical encounters.
The Johannesburg-born striker began his professional career with Dynamos, before being signed by Wits University.
His goal-scoring exploits for the Students earned him a move into the spotlight with Orlando Pirates, and he was part of the Bucs squad which won the CAF Champions League in 1995.
A brief spell followed with Pretoria City, before he moved to Pirates’ Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs in 1997, spending three years with Amakhosi.
After another brief stay at Pretoria City, Batchelor ended his career at another famous Soweto side, Moroka Swallows in 2003.
– African News Agency (ANA)