Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has sent his condolences following the death of Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) student Benjamin Phehla on Thursday.
Phehla died after a car crashed into a crowd of protesting students on the streets of Soshanguve.
“We have learnt with sadness of the unfortunate passing of Phehla, a student who was looking forward to a bright future as a professional.
“On behalf of the department and government, we join President Jacob Zuma in passing our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the family,” said Minister Nzimande.
Minister Nzimande also expressed shock at the shooting of protesting students at the University of the Witwatersrand. Reports indicate that the South African Police Service fired rubber bullets to disperse protesting students as part of crowd control. Several students, including their leaders, were injured.
“We call for calm and restraint from both sides. We believe that the current impasse can be resolved through dialogue and not through violence.
“We are pleased that the matter has been reported to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and we call on the police to exercise maximum restraint and operate within the law,” Minister Nzimande said.
He called on members of the public, particularly motorists, to be vigilant when driving in areas where institutions of higher learning are located and to be on the lookout for protesting students.
Source: South African Government News Agency.