OKay for those struggling with this problem here's my solution and it seems to work for me but no guarantees as I'm a bit of n00b when it comes to this stuff
I think the problem occurred for me because I thought I knew better than the perfect guide and before starting to install ISPConfig I had Suse do a full update to all the latest versions - that'll teach me to stick to the instructions lol.
Anyway to the solution - dowload ISPConfig to your /tmp folder, use tar to decompress as per the installation instructions. Now STOP and before running ./setup do the following..
rm -f openssl-0.9.7m*
so basically download the latest version of openssl and remove the old one shipped with the ISPConfig download. I found that although ISPConfig had shipped with 0.9.7m my Suse was already running 0.9.8g hence the reason for the problem as far as I can see.
finally you need to edit the compile file to change the version of openssl it looks for, one of the top 20 or so lines in the file, just change the version and save and your ready to carry on installing ISPConfig as per the instructions on the website.
Be handy if the developers could include the new version as part of the download, save having to make these changes?