TUT students to pay last respects to student leader Phehla

A memorial service will be held at the university tomorrow for the late Benjamin Phehla.

FILE: Tshwane University of Technology. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

JOHANNESBURG - A memorial service will be held at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) tomorrow for late student leader Lesego Benjamin Phehla, who was killed during the # FeesMustFall protests.

Phehla and three other students were run over during a march on the Soshanguve campus last week.

They were rushed to hospital, but Phehla succumbed to his injuries.

The protest was sparked after the university refused to provide buses for students to join a demonstration at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Student leader Thabang Boima says: "We'd like to urge everyone to come and attend the memorial service, because he died fighting for the interests of everyone. We'll be paying our last respects to our fellow comrade who died in the struggle."

Meanwhile, the Young Communist League (YCL) says it will meet with its branch members on different university campuses this week, to discuss a way forward regarding detained #FeesMustFall students.

The YCL is calling for the release of all students who have been arrested during the ongoing protests, saying police do not have any evidence linking them to arson at the various institutions.

YCL spokesperson Molaodi Wa Sekake says the demand for free tertiary education is genuine, and negotiations can only continue once all students are released.

"If the charges against the students were laid by the executives, then the executives must withdraw those charges and be prepared to address the students. It's not going to be negotiations in good faith if there are still students behind bars."