Mystery as influencer who sometimes feared for her life is found dead

A beauty influencer has been found dead in mysterious circumstances after expressing to have been fearing for her life.

Maja Janeska was allegedly found with a gunshot wound to her head at her home in Bassonia Estate, in Johannesburg, South Africa on 2 December.

The celebrity makeup artist, 39, was dating Kyle Phillips, co-director of the tobacco company Carnilinx, who she shared the home with.

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Police spokesperson Mavela Masondo said: "Upon arrival at the address given, police found a woman in the bedroom with a gunshot wound on the head.

"There was a firearm next to her. The woman was certified dead by the paramedics."

Phillips said he was brushing his teeth in the bathroom when he heard a gunshot coming from their bedroom, according to reports.

Masondo would not comment on who owned the firearm adding: "The police cannot comment on it now as that might jeopardise the investigation."

The police confirmed they have opened an inquest into the influencer's death, meaning it is not being treated as suspicious at the present time.

Following the makeup artist's death, a family member told local media that Maja sometimes worried about being murdered.

The relative, who wished to remain nameless, said: "We are heartbroken, and we seriously don't know what to do.

"We are in Europe and our hands are tied because we can't come to South Africa because of visa issues.

"Maja is lying there in some mortuary, and we don't have any clue as to what is actually happening."

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The family member said they were informed of her death by one of Phillips' former associates who said suicide was currently the suspected cause.

Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters political party, said: "I haven't spoken to Kyle but I knew her very well.

"We were friends. She was a very lovely lady, forward-looking."

Nine days before her death, Maja told university students that she moved to Tanzania when she was 19 years old to work in a hotel.

During that time, she learned Swahili and launched her career as a makeup artist and stylist.

In her last ever Instagram post on 22 November, the influencer was pictured with Bujar Osman, North Macedonia's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

She said the meeting was aimed at "establishing diplomatic relations between my country Republic of North Macedonia and my second home the Republic of South Africa".

The Macedonian influencer had 1.2 million Instagram followers at the time of her death.

Her followers included celebrities such as actress Pearl Thusi, singer Tamara Dey, and TV personality Boity Thulo.

The investigation into her death is ongoing.


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