Investigator who 'stole' Marc Batchelor's cellphone from murder scene has been released

2019-07-23 06:45
Marc Batchelor and Naas Botha are seen during day 1 of the 2011 MTN SuperSport Shootout from Simola Golf and Country Estate on in Knysna. (Duif du Toit, Gallo Images, file)

Marc Batchelor and Naas Botha are seen during day 1 of the 2011 MTN SuperSport Shootout from Simola Golf and Country Estate on in Knysna. (Duif du Toit, Gallo Images, file)

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The private investigator who was arrested for being in possession of murdered former soccer star Marc Batchelor's cellphone has been released, TimesLive reported. 

The well-known Johannesburg private investigator and debt collector had been charged for allegedly taking former football player Batchelor's cellphone from the scene of his murder, just moments after he was gunned down.

Information was wiped from the device.

News24 understands the man was detained at the Brixton police station on Friday night.

The man's name is known to News24 but he cannot be identified until he has appeared in court. He was due to appear in the Randburg Magistrate's Court, but reportedly did not do so.

Gauteng National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane told SowetanLIVE that the matter was not put on the court roll "because further investigation still needs to be done by police".

She referred further questions to the police.

Police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini reportedly said because the matter was not put on the court roll, the suspect had been released.

"This does not stop our investigations. They are continuing," he said.

Police investigators established that Bachelor's phone was missing after he was shot dead outside his home in Olivedale on July 15, News24 reported earlier. 

READ: Marc Batchelor's first reaction was to shield gardener from bullets, says brother

The police later took the investigator into custody and questioned him over the weekend.

It's understood he was involved in debt collecting and business projects with Batchelor. It's also believed another person may have been involved in the wiping of the contacts and messages from the phone.

The investigator has not responded to News24's WhatsApp requests for comment.

Eyewitnesses have claimed that two men on a motorbike ambushed the former Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs soccer star as he returned home just after 18:00.

His gardener and his dog were in the car at the time. The gardener was unharmed but the animal was wounded and is recovering.

The motive for the shooting remains unclear. 

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Read more on:    police  |  marc batchelor  |  crime  |  murder
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