Phehla lost his life after reportedly being hit by a car during the protest outside one of the institution’s campuses on Thursday.
“We are very saddened by the loss of this young life in such a horrible manner. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and may his soul rest in peace,” said President Zuma on Friday.
He emphasised that government supports the student’s call for access to education for the poor.
“We agree that university education is expensive for the poor. We agree that students who cannot afford to pay must be assisted. This is why government has been doing all it can to provide support through loans and bursaries, since 1994.
“We want to work with students, parents and all stakeholders to find solutions,” he said.
President Zuma said a Ministerial Task Team has been established and will engage stakeholders, including students, to find solutions.
“We also urge students and stakeholders to engage the judicial commission of inquiry into higher education funding and make presentations to help the country find solutions.
“Let us discuss how the goal we all agree on, can be achieved,'' said President Zuma.
He implored the students to return to class.
"Importantly, students should not lose the 2016 academic year. They should return to class and work with government, parents and other stakeholders to find solutions and we are certain that working together, we can build a great future as we care about the students’ future, we care about them,'' said the President.