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A 21-year-old Ballito gym instructor, found murdered at the weekend, told a colleague before he met a car dealer that if he was in trouble he would give her a missed call. She was then to immediately phone his mother.
Craig Hall, who was found stabbed to death near the Old Greenfield Service Station in Ballito on Saturday, died in circumstances which his mother, Roselyn Bega, describes as something “out of a movie”. What his family know for sure is that he was involved in a private deal to buy a R400 000 car.
He disappeared early on Thursday, apparently after meeting the car dealer. Bega told The Mercury: “We did not want him to buy the car; we shouted at him, but he said he had already put down a deposit of R20 000 and now needed to borrow another R25 000. We agreed to lend him the money which he paid over to the sellers. We don’t know who they were.
“Then Craig told us the car was stolen, or repossessed, we’re not sure, and had been impounded by the police. The deal went sour, he never got the car and we told him to try to get the money back.”
Candice Blamire, a gym instructor at the Lockeroom in Ballito, said Hall had told her on Wednesday that he would make sure the last call on his cellphone would be to her and then, if he was in trouble, he would miss-call her. It was a call that never came.
“He said it in a joking manner. I told him not to be stupid. Craig said things. I thought he would have planned this properly. I never thought he would try to be a hero. He has lots of friends who would have gone with him.”
The last time the family saw Craig was on Wednesday night.
“He came home from work his normal, happy self. He said he was going to see Brandon – we don’t know who Brandon is. When I went to his room the next morning at 4am to wake him up for work he wasn’t in his bed.
“There were times when he would SMS me to say he wasn’t coming home, but he did not do that this time. I tried to call him on his cellphone, but it was off. At about 7.15am Candice from the gym phoned looking for him.”
SAPS spokesman Thulani Zwane confirmed that Hall was found at the service station after 2pm on Saturday.
Bega viewed footage on the gym’s security camera that showed Craig parking his car in the underground parking on Wednesday night and then the youngster hurried out of the building, “as if he was late for a date or meeting”, towards a petrol station across the road.
“The security guard and petrol attendant say they saw Craig getting into a white bakkie with a tall Indian man. They said that to me in the presence of a friend of mine who heads a security company here in Ballito, but when the police questioned them they changed their minds, saying they weren’t sure anymore.
“We’ve had about five calls on our cellphones with breathing before the calls were cut. This is like a movie. I know my son is gone but this is all like some gangster movie,” she said.