A R50 donation that snowballed into a social media fundraising campaign for a Cape Town waitress has delivered over R150 000 to the woman who was humiliated by #RhodesMustFall activist Ntokozo Qwabe.
Sihle Ngobese handed R50 to Ashleigh Schultz‚ 23‚ when he tracked her down at Obz Cafe in Observatory‚ after hearing how Qwabe and a friend‚ Wandile Dlamini‚ had reduced her to tears last week.
Instead of leaving her a tip‚ Dlamini wrote on their bill:”We will give tip when you return the land.”
Ngobese‚ who is the spokesperson for Western Cape Social Development MEC Albert Fritz but made the gesture in his personal capacity‚ and a friend Roman Cabanac‚ who hosts a CliffCentral podcast‚ launched a Twitter fundraising campaign for Schultz.
He confirmed on Tuesday that the funds were on their way to Schultz‚ whose mother has cancer.
“We’ve been getting messages from people all over the world‚” Ngobese said on Tuesday.
“We’ve raised R44,777 and this has been transferred to Ashleigh.”
A second fundraiser by Ernst Shea-Kruger‚ hosted on the website gofundme.com‚ had raised R102,640 by 5:30am on Tuesday.
“If this server had any land to ‘give’‚ I would assume she would not be waitering in a cafe trying to make ends meet‚” said a post on the site.
Ngobese said this was a separate initiative to the one run by himself and Cabanac.
“At the most basic level‚ this story is about a woman who was bullied by a guy who was lording his privilege over her‚” said Ngobese.
“People are drawn to kindness.”
He said that critics were asking: “Why are you not collecting for black people? Is this the defence of white privilege?”
His response to them was: “If you claim to care about something‚ why don’t you start something? If anything‚ what we’ve been able to do is show that it’s possible to do it.
“So for all of these people coming at us‚ why don’t you start something and have other people support it? That is what the power of voluntary co-operation is all about.”
Schultz told the Sunday Times: “I can now use this money to put down a deposit on a place near my mom and be with her because she is sick. I can also stop working for a while.”