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Femicide victims Mello, Jegels laid to rest

Janika Mello was found murdered in her grandmother’s backyard while boxing champion Leighandre Jegels was shot dead, allegedly by her estranged lover.

Leighandre Jegels. Picture: @ArtsCultureSA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – As the country continues to voice its outrage at the scourge of gender-based violence, two victims were laid to rest on Saturday.

Fourteen-year-old Janika Mello was raped and murdered on the first of September in Heinz Park in Philippi, when a day earlier in East London boxing star Leighandre "Baby Lee" Jegels had been shot dead.

Mello's family were under the impression that the teenager had returned home safely after she had gone to a function in another suburb.

To her family’s shock, her half-naked body was found in her grandmother’s backyard hours later.

Two teenagers, aged 16 and 18-year-old, have been arrested in connection with her murder.

In East London, the boxing champion Jegels was shot dead, allegedly by her estranged boyfriend.

Her mother was wounded in the attack.

The suspect in Jegels’s murder was meant to appear in court a few days later, but he died in hospital following a car crash he was involved in after he allegedly fled the crime scene.

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