A well-known Johannesburg private investigator and debt collector has been charged for allegedly taking former football player Marc 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. He is expected to appear in court on Monday. The man's name is known to News24 but he cannot be identified until he has appeared in court.
Police investigators established that Bachelor's phone was missing after he was shot dead outside his home in Olivedale on Monday last week.
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. The Sunday Times reported that the killing may be related to a drug deal involving a ton of cocaine.
The police have confirmed that a man was arrested but insisted that he had not been charged in connection with the murder.
"He was arrested and charged with defeating the ends of justice. He was found in possession of the deceased's cellphone and apparently some information was allegedly removed. He is appearing [in] the Randburg Magistrate's Court today. No one has been arrested in connection with the murder," police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.