On the afternoon of Friday, 30 August 2019 in the streets of East London, the thunder of a gun at the hands of a murderer resulted in the untimely death of one of our most accomplished female boxers and multiple champion, Leighandre ‘Baby Lee’ Jegels. What is most sad about all this, is that not only did the murderer fatally shoot and kill our Champion, he also went on to shoot and wound Leighandre’s mother, Mrs Rita Jegels who was with Leighandre at the time of this brutal incident.
According to an update from Leighandre’s Manager, Mr Mlandeli Tengimfene, Leighandre and her Mom were on their way from home in Dawn to the boxing gym in Mdantsane where she used to train. Their journey was unfortunately rudely interrupted by this gun trotter who was reportedly also Baby Lee’s former partner against whom she actually also had a restraining order.
Leighandre’s mother was shot multiple times and is currently in critical situation at Life St. Dominic’s hospital in East London. Leighandre also received multiple gunshots which unfortunately claimed her life on the scene. After this disgraceful act of cowardice, the murderer reportedly drove off and fled the scene. His attempts to evade the law were cut shot in Peddie, about 100kms from East London after he bumped and killed two innocent pedestrians.
After spending some time away from the ring, Leighandre was scheduled to make a comeback on the 5th October 2019. According to her Manager, they had a breakfast meeting with her only that same morning of Friday, 30 August 2019 to outline her route map towards her 5th October fight. They later spoke again shortly after 13:00 same day when she confirmed that her and her mother were on the way to the gym for her afternoon training session.
Leighandre’s professional boxing took off on the 6th June 2014 and within two years, on 19th of June 2016 she went on to become the South African Junior Bantamweight Champion. She later also won and became the WBA Pan African Junior Bantamweight Champion. She remained undefeated with a clean record of 9 fights and 9 wins, 7 of which came through Knock Outs.
Before joining boxing Leighandre was talented Karateka with a black belt accomplishment. Other than her devotion to boxing, Leighandre was also a committed Educator by profession.
The entire boxing community is still in shock and deeply saddened by the passing away of this jewel of the pugilist sport and heroine of the sport movement. What is most sad is the manner in which she lost her life, more especially at a time when the entire nation is busy bracing itself to celebrate the last weekend of the month of women.
Our condolences goes to the Jegels family and All Winners boxing club which was her boxing stable. Further details regarding her send off and memorial services will be announced once further guidance has been provided from the family side.
Dr Malefetsane Peter Ngatane
Boxing South Africa