Africa

Car hits, kills South African student leader during protest

  • A medical students stares at a line of security officers at the University of the Witwatersrand's medical school in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, Oct. 21 2016. Protests calling for free education have sometimes turned violent and have affected  many South African universities since last month. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    A medical students stares at a line of security officers at the University of the Witwatersrand's medical school in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, Oct. 21 2016. Protests calling for free education have sometimes turned violent and have affected many South African universities since last month. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

  • Students from the University of Western Cape campus protest near Bellville Magistrate's Court as they walk back to their campus on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. A group of students appeared in the Bellville Magistrate's Court after being arrested during recent violent protest calling on free education in South Africa. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    Students from the University of Western Cape campus protest near Bellville Magistrate's Court as they walk back to their campus on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. A group of students appeared in the Bellville Magistrate's Court after being arrested during recent violent protest calling on free education in South Africa. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)  (The Associated Press)

  • Students from the University of Western Cape campus slam their hands on a police truck as they protest near the Bellville Magistrate's Court, walking back to their campus on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. A group of students appeared in the Bellville Magistrate's Court after being arrested during recent violent protest calling on free education in South Africa. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    Students from the University of Western Cape campus slam their hands on a police truck as they protest near the Bellville Magistrate's Court, walking back to their campus on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. A group of students appeared in the Bellville Magistrate's Court after being arrested during recent violent protest calling on free education in South Africa. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)  (The Associated Press)

A South African university says a student leader of protests for free education was struck and killed by a car while protesters were allegedly blocking traffic on a road outside campus.

The Tshwane University of Technology said Friday that police are investigating the death of student Benjamin Phehla on Thursday. It says he was among three students hit when a driver "lost control of his car."

The university says the incident occurred on a road between campuses in Soshanguve, on the outskirts of Pretoria.

South African President Jacob Zuma has expressed sadness at Phehla's death.

Zuma says the government agrees that university education is expensive for the poor, but he urges protesters to return to class.

Demonstrations for free university education began last month.