- Press Statements
- 2010 NGC
- National Congresses
Statement on the untimely death of Comrade Lesedi Phehla in the struggle for Free Education in South Africa
22 October 2016
The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) is shocked and disturbed by the untimely death of Comrade Lesedi Phehla who was a former SRC member and member of the Progressive Youth Alliance. The ANCYL is calling for the immediate resolution of this matter. We call on the South African Police Services (SAPS) to urgently deal with the matter. We further call on the police to do a proper and thorough investigation on this matter. Without instructing the police on their job, we request them to also check whether the car has a tracker and if the tracker system does show the speed which the car was traveling at, at the time of the incident.
The ANCYL is however concerned with the reported version to the effect that the car allegedly lost control and thus the driver could not control the vehicle. If the driver was driving within the stipulated speed limit, this would have not happened! Our understanding is that the driving limit of this road where the incident happened is not more than 80km per hour. Secondly, it is our view that the road where the incident happened is straight and thus enabling the driver of motor vehicle to have a clear view and vision of what is happening on the road far ahead of them. Any responsible driver would have known that he/she should drive slower in light of the fact that there are students and other pedestrians using that road.
The ANCYL is deeply saddened by the passing away of one of our student leaders in the PYA. The death of Cde Lesedi Phehla will certainly not be forgotten! We call on our government to realize that the call and the implementation of free education is now urgent more than ever! It is this course and struggle that created fertile ground for the death of Cde Lesedi Phehla. We further call on our government to honour Cde Lesedi Phehla by declaring free education now! What future will we have as a country when young people are fatally wounded without the government adhering to their call?
We would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family of Cde Lesedi Phehla. We call on society to keep the family of Cde Lesedi in their thoughts and prayers. We urge all students to keep calm and request all motorists to be cautious whenever they drive, particularly in places where there are many pedestrians. May the struggle that Cde Lesedi was part of continue until it is fully realised! This will be one way the students would have honoured what he stood and fought for until the bitter end of his life!
African National Congress Youth League