Article as seen in News 24 – for more information click on link.
Johannesburg – The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) has expressed sadness at the death of Tshwane University of Technology student leader Lesego Benjamin Phehla, after he was killed when a car ploughed into protesting students.
“We call on our government to realise that the call and the implementation of free education is now urgent more than ever,” said national spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize in a statement on Saturday.
A number of students, including Phehla, sustained injuries and were taken to Dr George Mukhari Hospital, where Phehla subsequently died, after a driver lost control of his car and crashed into them.
The ANCYL has called for police to do a “thorough” investigation on the incident.
Mkhize also called for government to honour Phehla by declaring free and quality education.
Earlier, Young Communist League of South African national spokesperson Molaodi Wa Sekake said they were saddened by Phehla’s passing.
The organisation relied on him and other comrades to broaden access and redress in TUT and other institutions of higher learning, the YCL said.
“Our structures must continue to struggle for transformation of their institution because that’s what Cde Lesedi believed in. Comrade Lesedi knew that the call for free quality education for the poor is a mandate,” the spokesperson said in a statement on Saturday.
He called on all their members to unite and defend the struggle for quality education for the poor.
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande also expressed his condolences.
“We have indeed learnt with sadness of the unfortunate passing of Mr Phehla, a student who was looking forward to a bright future as a professional. On behalf of the department and our government, we join President Jacob Zuma in passing our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the family.”
Nzimande also called for calm and restraint from police and students after several students were injured when police fired rubber bullets at the University of the Witwatersrand.