Maja Janeska, a celebrity make-up artist and businesswoman whose cigarette tycoon boyfriend, Kyle Phillips, assisted EFF leader Julius Malema in paying his tax bill, died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to police.
Police told News24 that they had opened an inquest docket in connection with Janeska’s death, indicating that the death is not being investigated as suspiciously at this time.
“Police received a call about a woman who allegedly committed suicide in Bassonia Estate. When police arrived at the given address, they discovered a woman in the bedroom with a gunshot wound to the head. There was a gun next to her. “The paramedics certified the woman dead,” said police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Mavela Masondo.
According to reliable sources, Phillips told those close to the incident that he was in the house at the time of Janeska’s death and rushed to the room where she was discovered.
Tracy, Phillips’ ex-wife, disputed this version of events but was unable to explain why. Phillips was “devastated and in shock” by the tragedy, she said.
He promised to “cooperate with the investigation,” she said.
The unexpected death of the popular Macedonian Instagram influencer, whose 1.2 million followers included Malema and celebrities such as Boity, Pearl Thusi, and Tamara Dey, has shocked her family in Europe and her South African friends.
Her sister, who did not want to be identified, told News24 that the family was in “absolute shock” at the news.
“Our phones haven’t stopped ringing; we’re just getting started.” We are in Europe, and our options are limited because we are unable to travel to South Africa due to visa issues. “My sister is lying there in some mortuary, and we have no idea what is going on,” she added.
Janeska was pictured with North Macedonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osman, in her final Instagram post, dated November 22. The engagement was intended to establish diplomatic relations between “my country, the Republic of North Macedonia, and my second home, the Republic of South Africa,” she wrote.
“My mission as a patriot was to bring the two countries and nations together, and my love for both countries and nations drove me to start it.” This relationship has created incredible opportunities for business, education, tourism, and cultural exchange…
“I love and appreciate both countries with all of my heart.”
Janeska’s social media posts and LinkedIn profile demonstrate a significant transition from her early life as a make-up artist and beauty blogger to an aspirant businessperson.
She stated that she “continues to grow” in industries such as energy, mining, and tobacco.
Those who knew the couple described her relationship with Phillips, who is the co-director of Adriano Mazzotti’s cigarette company Carnilinx, as “on and off.”
The couple was photographed together at Mazzotti’s daughter’s wedding in Ibiza in July, which Malema and his wife also attended.
According to court documents related to a tax dispute between Malema and the SA Revenue Service, the EFF leader told tax authorities that Phillips had loaned him R1 million to help settle his tax bill in 2015.