President Zuma says he’s deeply saddened by the passing of TUT student leader, Lesego Phehla who died after he was hit by a car at a FeesMustFall protest.
Zuma extended his condolences to Phehla’s family and urged protesting students to return to class.
“We are very saddened by the loss of this young life in such a horrible manner. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and may his soul rest in peace,” he said.
Mr Zuma thereafter, begged students to return to class emphasizing that the Government will always support access to education for the poor.
It is important that “students should not lose the 2016 academic year,” he said. “They should return to class and work with government, parents and other stakeholders to find solutions. We are certain that working together, we can build a great future as we care about the students’ future, we care about them,” he stressed.
“We agree that university education is expensive for the poor,” continued Mr President.
“We agree that students who cannot afford to pay must be assisted. This is why government has been doing all it can to provide support through loans and bursaries, since 1994. We want to work with students, parents and all stakeholders to find solutions.”
He further recounted that a Ministerial task team has been established and will engage stakeholders to find solutions.
“We also urge students and stakeholders to engage the judicial commission of inquiry into higher education funding and make presentations to help the country find solutions. Let us discuss how the goal we all agree on, can be achieved,” President Zuma implored.
Meanwhile, Police spokesperson Brigadier Sally de Beer, divulged that the police is currently investigating Phehla’s death as culpable homicide.