Johannesburg - Warren Batchelor and his murdered brother Marc had become estranged and were on the mend before he was shot dead outside his Olivedale home, mourners at the former footballer's funeral service heard on Thursday.
Warren, Batchelor’s older brother, said the former striker - who donned the colours of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Moroka Swallows and Wits University among others - had lost his way.
“Marc was no angel. In the past few years he lost his way. It was during this time that he pushed me away along with his close friends because of some stupid argument. We were planning to reconcile and then I got that call,” recalled Warren, before crying on stage.
Warren said Batchelor had been diagnosed with Huntington disease three years ago, the same disease which killed their father.
Huntington disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes uncontrolled movements, emotional problems, and loss of thinking ability, according to medical journals.
But Warren, who said he only found out last Tuesday about his brother’s disease, said it was no excuse for his actions.
“Pastor Tony (Sivewright) took my brother under his wing, he supported him and mentored him. The stories you were telling me were amazing, he was on his way back,” said Warren.
Reliving the bloody murder scene when Batchelor was shot dead, Warren said: “The scene on Monday night was horrific. It broke me.
“Once they got him out the car I gave him a kiss and I knew I had my brother back… I could sit and say farewell, hamba kahle on your next journey my brother, because your demons are left behind,” said Warren.
He said crime was out of control in South Africa and said it was time to arrest the scourge of crime in the country.
“What are we doing about this. How many more funerals must we have? He was not just my brother. He was our brother. I will treasure all the memories we had, every crazy moment, every heartbreak and every moment, I love you Marc,” he said.
Warren said the family would look after the Batchelor's wolves and make sure they were always safe.
“Fly with the angels my brother, you are now free,” he said.