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#AmINext: Schoolchildren pay emotional tribute to Janika Mello

The 14-year-old girl’s body was found in her grandmother’s backyard in Heinz Park in Philippi on Sunday morning.

Schoolchildren hold up posters during a memorial service on 4 September 2019 for Janika Mello, who was raped and murdered. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Scores of people have gathered at a Mitchells Plain school in memory of murdered teenager Janika Mello.

The 14-year-old girl’s body was found in her grandmother’s backyard in Heinz Park in Philippi on Sunday morning.

Mello’s school friends said it was heartbreaking seeing her empty seat in the grade 6A classroom.

A group of young girls gathered on stage to pay an emotional tribute to the 14-year-old.

The murdered pupil’s parents, siblings and other family members struggled to hold back tears.

No arrests have yet been made in connection with the teen's death.