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Over R100,000 raised for bullied waitress in 24 hours through online campaigns

Ntokozo Qwabe

Over R100,000 has been raised in online campaigns for a waitress that was allegedly reduced to tears by a #RhodesMustFall activist Ntokozo Qwabe this week.

Hundreds of well-wishers have donated money to a waitress to cover the tip a black Oxford student refused to pay because she was white.

Ashleigh Schultz, 24, was reduced to tears when Ntokozo Qwabe – a leader of the campaign to remove a Cecil Rhodes statue at Oxford – and a friend wrote on their cafe bill: ‘We will give tip when you return the land.’

He bragged online that they had made her cry ‘typical white tears’, leaving him ‘unable to stop smiling because something so black and wonderful had happened’.

The incident last week at Obz Cafe in the Western Cape, South Africa, has ignited a backlash against Mr Qwabe, who was branded a racist bully.

Ashleigh Schultz works two waitressing jobs to support her mother who has cancer. Ashleigh’s friends said she had already been feeling low that day as her mother was quite sick.

One said: ‘She has a very sick mother she cares for, and had to move flat recently and is worried about all of this. She did burst into tears because she is having a tough time at present.’

Stacey-Leigh Wood, a friend of Miss Schultz, said: ‘This is so sweet of everyone that donated. That other idiot [Mr Qwabe] still needs to be slapped though.’

South African Mr Qwabe is a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University, meaning he receives money from the Rhodes estate to study.

But he is also one of the leaders of the Rhodes Must Fall movement, which wants the statue of the 19th-century imperialist removed from Oriel College.

The various online campaigns were triggered by an outraged South African, Sihle Ngobese, who decided to pay the tip himself and said:

‘Qwabe is someone that claims to speak to the downtrodden and the disenfranchised yet he has the audacity to bully a working-class young woman.

‘I just wanted to make a small gesture to show South Africans that if we love and respect each other it makes our country great.’

Roman Cabanac, who hosts a CliffCentral show, began a Twitter campaign that had raised R44,777,70 when closing last night while the GoFundMe page created by Ernst Shea Kruger, a South African living in America, has already raised over R60 000.

The donations were rolling in at such a rapid rate that Ernst had to raise the goal posts several times.

“Wow. I am at a loss for words. I have had to adjust the goal several time because donations and support for Ashleigh Just keep rolling in. Thank you all. This is one very BIG statement against racism. I will keep everyone updated as we approach the end of this campaign. All I can say is THANK YOU. You are all Awesome.”

Cabanac said the response was phenomenal with R6,000 raised in the first five hours of the post going up.

“We just wanted to help the lady out. We later found out her mother has cancer and she is working to support her. This whole debacle shows how RhodesMustFall lost the momentum they have.”

Both Cabanac and Kruger have stated that all the funds were going directly to Ashleigh Schultz.

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In his incendiary Facebook post last Thursday, Mr Qwabe boasted he and his friend – a ‘radical non-binary trans black activist’ – had refused to pay the ‘white woman’ a tip, instead leaving the note.

Mr Qwabe wrote: ‘She sees the note and starts shaking. She leaves us and bursts into typical white tears.’ He said a male waiter then approached the table to ‘annoy us more with his own white tears telling us that he finds our act racist’.

He added: ‘It is irrelevant whether you personally have land/wealth or you don’t. Go to your fellow white people and mobilise for them to give us the land back.’

Thousands have condemned him online, labelling him as a racist hypocrite, with some saying that he had become the very thing that he hates. A petition was also created to revoke his scholarship and degree but later shut down for various reasons.

Candice Holdsworth wrote: “Showing a stunning lack of self-awareness‚ Qwabe‚ in his recollection of the incident‚ does not recognise that as a student of law at one of the world’s most prestigious universities‚ he is probably more privileged than a waitress working a minimum-wage job. Even if she is white and he is black.”

Charmaine Rowlands wrote: ‘I cannot believe an educated person – educated with a “white racist” grant by the way – could stoop this low.

‘Please tell Ashleigh we, that is all South Africans who do not tolerate racism, stand with her and others who do an honest day’s work for next to nothing.’

Adrian Coetzee said: ‘It is a sad day that someone that is as privileged to receive a scholarship cannot appreciate how hard someone that isn’t as blessed has to work to achieve an education that he is taking for granted.’

The money will definitely make a difference to Ashleigh in her current situation but more so the acts of kindness show solidarity against racism, hatred and bigotry.

South Africans are again leading the way by uniting behind that which is good and right, proving again the power of the collective spirit of Ubuntu.

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A personal crusader on a mission to empower through the power of positive thinking. Activation Architect | CliffCentral Unradio Host | LeadSA Hero | Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South African | #RAK15 founder

8 Comments

  1. Deidre

    May 2, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Do you really know what’s funny??? This land originally belonged to the khoisan people, perhaps he should revise recapping his History… He himself is a foreigner… If he is infact Zulu he is claiming land in the wrong province… 😜 BETTER he should read the Constitution of South Africa and the Bill of rights of South Africa!!! He should rather focus on he’s studies rather than helping this country turn to Garbish status… Sies!!!!

    • fidza

      May 3, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      every white person “claims” the land belongs to the khoisan to evade the inevitable facts. South Africa had different tribes scattered in different regions, if the argument was that Cape Town belonged to the khoi then it would have been a legitimate stance. History itself tells you that where ever the Afrikanners, British went they saw indigenous people there, in the Natal region they saw Zulus already living there for centuries. They never had any instance recorded in history where foreign “blacks” came after them as they try so hard to suggest “oh the khoi where the original south africans”.

  2. James

    May 2, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    South Africa is built on a negotiated constitution that will protect white people’s property and rights. White people agreed to that. Our leaders also agreed to that.

  3. Mugabe

    May 2, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    If it was a black waitress they will just keep quite because she is white they cry foul,i don’t see any wrong here cause the reason she was crying is because she got the money so that her mother can get a better health care,Mr Qwabe is up to ur own will to donate or not.

    • Step Hen Errorwine

      May 3, 2016 at 8:22 am

      you comment is as relevant as a comment I heard the other day about two very tall gay guys- “Imagine how tall their children will be”??

  4. Step Hen Errorwine

    May 3, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Has he been reported to the HRC, as any racist white would have been. Find a way to keep him in the UK, he does not belong here.

  5. Yaj

    May 4, 2016 at 1:18 am

    I find it appalling when your leaders encourage hatred and segregation. Mr Qwabe clearly is someone who capitalises on fear, desperation and hate to progress. This is pitiful. Mr Ngobese rose above this mentality and through a genuine act of kindness, set a fat better example of a leader.

  6. Eugene

    May 8, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Everything belong to the blacks they tell the whites here in cape town give back our land then its funny give back our land but the piece of shit is born in the eastern cape.#rainbow nation

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