Benjamin Phehla‚ a student from the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)‚ is being mourned on Friday after dying of injuries he suffered in a fees protest.
TUT announced Phela’s passing on Friday morning.
According to a statement‚ Phehla‚ who was the former chairman of the faculty student council for Information and Communication Technology (ICT)‚ succumbed to injuries he suffered on Thursday in clashes which allegedly saw students disrupting traffic.
“Yesterday afternoon unrest was regrettably experienced at the Soshanguve Campus when a group of protesters demanded to be transported to the #FeesMustFall march to the Union Buildings. When this was denied‚ clashes with security guards ensued and the SAPS had no option but to intervene to disperse the protesters.
“The protesters allegedly also disrupted traffic on the public road — running between the north and south campuses in Soshanguve — and three students were injured when a driver lost control of his car.
“It is with deep sadness‚ that the University has to announce that a student who was injured in this incident passed away last night. Mr Benjamin Phehla was a former chairperson of the Faculty Student Council of ICT.
“The incident is currently under police investigation.”
Messages of condolences have begun pouring in on Twitter:
“Rest in peace to comrade Benjamin of #TUT sosha who lost his life during #FeesMustFall march yesterday. Aluta continua‚” Wisdom @NoxwaSox tweeted.
— Wisdom🙏 (@NoxwaSox) October 21, 2016
Zamasango Siswana @zama–sango posted: “RIP Benjamin you died a fighter. Right on your way from the struggle. #TUT #FeesMustFall”.
“May Benjani Lesedi Phehla rest in Power. His blood will nourish the seeds of Free Decolonised quality education. #feesmustfall #tut‚” 1st of Her Name @Azania–002 tweeted.
While TUT has made counselling services available to all students affected by the incident‚ its academic programme will continue on Saturday.
“Despite disruptions at some campuses‚ the University remains steadfast to ensure that all our students successfully complete this academic year. In view of this‚ academic activities and tests scheduled will continue tomorrow‚ 22 October 2016. Activities will also continue at all campuses on Monday‚ 24 October 2016.”
“Students are also reminded that all individuals found to be in contravention of the interim court order issued on 13 October 2016‚ will be detained and will be subject to prosecution‚ as well as to internal disciplinary procedures‚” it said.