October 21, 2016 / 1:43 PM / in a year

South African student killed during protests: presidency

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African student leader was killed during protests following weeks of country wide demonstrations by students demanding free tertiary education, the presidency said on Friday.

A protester wearing a mask gestures infront of riot police officers during a march to South African President Jacob Zuma's offices, to demand free university education, in Pretoria, South Africa. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Lesego Benjamin Phehla, a student at Tshwane University of Technology in the capital Pretoria, was hit by a car and killed there on Thursday, the presidency said in a statement.

Police in Pretoria had used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of students gathered outside President Jacob Zuma’s offices as protests turned violent, with some students hurling sticks and bottles at police.

Weeks of demonstrations calling for the scrapping of university fees, prohibitive for many black students, have highlighted frustration at enduring inequalities in South Africa more than two decades after the end of white minority rule.

Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by James Macharia and Catherine Evans

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