Thanks for all the help mdarby.
I cleaned out the dir and tried to compile a later version. It is interesting I went to 4.4.1 and had no issues with the same error. Now however
I am getting a symbol error when starting apache:
root@stealth:/usr/local/src/php-4.4.1/libs# /usr/local/apache2/bin/apachectl start
httpd: Syntax error on line 54 of /usr/local/apache2/conf/httpd.conf: Cannot load /usr/local/apache2/modules/libphp4.so into server: /usr/local/apache2/modules/libphp4.so: undefined symbol: _emalloc
now I am confident that it is my httpd.conf. However I have no idea what is wrong with line 54. I mean, you have seen the line and the only update made is changing from libphp5 to libphp4, nothing other than that.
Maybe now I might stand a better chance of starting right from scratch, removing Apache, MYSQL and PHP making sure everything is clean and try fresh compiles?
Any other ideas?