Ex-footballer Marc Batchelor, whose legs Oscar Pistorius once threatened to break, shot dead by 2 hitmen outside home
Mark Batchelor, who represented the 'Big Three' clubs in South Africa over the course of his career, was shot dead in the driveway of his home
Marc Batchelor, the former South African footballer who had been involved in a public spat with Oscar Pistorius, has been found dead been outside his home in a suspected assassination.
Batchelor was gunned down by two men on motorcycles as he pulled into his driveway in Olivedale, Johannesburg, at around 6 pm on Monday, July 15, according to the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
Police spokesman Col. Lungelo Dlamini confirmed Batchelor's death saying, "He was attacked by two men who were driving a motorbike." "He was about to drive into his premises. The suspects shot several times at him," he added.
Dlamini said Batchelor died inside the car and that the gunmen drove away without taking anything, giving them the suspicion that this was an assassination. He also revealed that the footballer's gardener was with him inside the car but was unhurt in the shooting.
Police have confirmed that they have opened a murder investigation into Batchelor's death. "At this stage, we are still investigating what the motive for the attack was and these suspects have not yet been identified," Dlamini said.
Batchelor, who played as a striker, has represented all the 'big three' South African clubs — Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, and Mamelodi Sundowns — over the course of his career. He also had a short spell at KV Oostende in Belgium.
As a member of The Pirates, he played his part in the team's historic 1995 win of the CAF Champions Cup, as well as the Super Cup the following year.
However, he hit headlines long after he had retired as he got involved in a bitter war of words with disgraced sprint runner Oscar Pistorius.
Batchelor claimed Pistorius had threatened to break his legs after accusing him of sleeping with the runner's then-girlfriend Samantha Taylor.
The pair never buried the hatchet over the incident. After Pistorius was charged with murder in the death of Reeva Steenkamp in 2013, Batchelor made it a point to regularly sit with Steenkamp's family during court proceedings.
Pistorius was eventually found guilty of culpable homicide, not murder, in 2014, and was sentenced to five years in prison and a concurrent three-year suspended prison sentence for a separate reckless endangerment conviction.
In 2015, his case was presented to a panel at the Supreme Court of Appeal, which overturned the culpable homicide verdict and convicted him of murder. The court then more than doubled his sentence to 13 years and five months.