Zuma sends con­do­lences to TUT stu­dent’s fam­ily

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SAKHILE NDLAZI and ANA

PRES­I­DENT Zuma has sent his con­do­lences to the fam­ily of Tsh­wane Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy stu­dent leader Le­sego Ben­jamin Phehla, who died af­ter he and two other stu­dents were knocked down by a car in Soshanguve on Thurs­day.

“We are very sad­dened by the loss of this young life in such a hor­ri­ble man­ner. We ex­tend our deep­est con­do­lences to his fam­ily,” Zuma said yes­ter­day.

Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a case of cul­pa­ble homi­cide af­ter Phehla died af­ter be­ing hit by a car.

He was a fi­nal-year In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy stu­dent and the for­mer chair­per­son of the fac­ulty’s Stu­dent Coun­cil.

There were scuf­fles at the TUT Soshanguve cam­puses when a group of pro­test­ers de­manded to be trans- ported to the #FeesMustFall march to the Union Build­ings on Thurs­day.

When this was de­nied, clashes with se­cu­rity guards en­sued and the po­lice in­ter­vened to dis­perse the pro­test­ers.

The pro­test­ers al­legedly dis­rupted traf­fic on the pub­lic road run­ning be­tween the north and south cam- puses in Soshanguve and three stu­dents were in­jured when a driver struck them.

A stu­dent leader who was on the scene, said the po­lice had not been in­volved in Phehla’s death.

The sec­re­tary- gen­eral of the SA Union of Stu­dents, Sthem­biso Ndlovu, said: “We were leav­ing north cam­pus go­ing to south cam­pus when a car came speed­ing to­wards us and hit stu­dents, our com­rade, and drove away.”

TUT spokesper­son Willa de Ruyter said po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing a case of cul­pa­ble homi­cide af­ter the driver had al­legedly lost con­trol of his ve­hi­cle and ploughed into a group of stu­dents.

“It’s un­clear whether he (Phehla) was part of the group that were protest­ing.

“The po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion will re­veal ex­actly what hap­pened.

“We can’t say that it was a hit-an­drun,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to De Ruyter, Phehla’s mother was with him when he died yes­ter­day.

She said most of the stu­dents had been dis­charged af­ter be­ing treated.

Po­lice spokes­woman Bri­gadier Sally de Beer said the in­ci­dent took place at around 1.35pm. A num­ber of stu­dents in­clud­ing Phehla had been in­jured.

They had been taken to Dr Ge­orge Mukhari Hos­pi­tal where Phehla sub­se­quently died.

She said po­lice had spo­ken to the driver and were in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

Af­ter the ac­ci­dent a group of pro­test­ers had gone to the driver’s par­ents’ house where they threw rocks and broke the win­dows.

“We are also open­ing a case of ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty against the per­pe­tra­tors,” said De Beer.

Le­sego Ben­jamin Phehla died af­ter be­ing hit by a car.

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