TUT Student Leader Killed During FeesMustFall Protest


BuzzSouthAfrica has confirmed the death of TUT student leader, Lesego Benjamin Phehla. He died after he was hit by a car at a FeesMustFall protest yesterday.

Confirming Phehla’s death, police related that the incident happened at about 13:35 on Thursday afternoon.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Sally de Beer, divulged that the police is currently investigating a case of culpable homicide.

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Tshwane University of Technology, in a statement, related that a group of students who were initially marching from campus to campus in Soshanguve, moved to the streets and disrupted traffic.

Subsequently, a driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the protesting students. Students who sustained injury, including Phehla, were rushed to Dr. George Mukhari Hospital where the student leader died.

De Beer emphasized that the police didn’t play any role in Phehla’s death.

Reporting this, News24 narrated that another student leader who was at the scene confirmed that police were not involved in Phehla’s death.

The Secretary-general of the SA Union of Students, Sthembiso Ndlovu, described the incident as a ‘hit-and-run’.

Ndlovu said:

“We were leaving north campus going to south campus and a car came speeding and it hit…our Phehla and drove away.”

Meanwhile, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has started investigating the shooting of Shaeera Kalla, a student leader at Wits University.

It was reported yesterday that police, at close range, fired rubber bullets at the student leader and other protesting students at Wits’ Braamfontein campus.

According to reports, Kalla was shot multiple times in the back with rubber bullets during a FeesMustFall protest.

De Beer related that the Acting National Commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane has already, instructed that the facts of the issue be established.

See Also: Police Arrests 567 Destructive Students

She promised that any police officer found to have contravened the law will be dealt with. And, urged police officers to exercise maximum restraint and act within the confines of the law.

She also said:

“Our approach and management of the situation around campuses must be characterized by discipline and the proportional use of force.”