Zuma sends condolences to TUT student’s family
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.