Many are coming to the rescue of a woman who burst into tears after a black Oxford student refused to tip her because she was white.
Instead, the South African man and his friend wrote on the cafe bill: “We will give tip when you return the land.” Ntokozo Qwabe, who attended Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship, bragged online that he had made his waitress cry “typical white tears” and that he was “unable to stop smiling because something so black and wonderful had happened.”
According to The Daily Mail, the confrontation occurred last week at Obz Cafe in the Western Cape, South Africa. The waitress happened to be 24 year old Ashleigh Schultz who was already low in spirits since her mother was diagnosed with cancer. A source 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.”
Qwabe has been called a racist and bully and donation pages for Schultz has received overwhelming support with nearly $3,000 in pledges.
His Facebook post regarding the tipping incident read:
“She sees the note and starts shaking. She leaves us and bursts into typical white tears. Then a male waiter approached him and his friend to annoy us more with his own white tears telling us that he finds our act racist. 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.”
Qwabe, who is studying civil law at Oxford according to his Facebook page, was chosen as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar in 2014. The prestigious international fellowship provides full financial support for students to pursue their degrees at the University of Oxford. Their website reads:
“Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead.”
Ironically, Qwabe is also among the leaders of the Rhodes Must Fall movement fighting to have the statue of Cecil J. Rhodes, whom the Rhodes Trust was established by the request of, removed from Oriel College.
Sihle Ngobese, a South African who decided to pay the tip himself and start one of the online campaigns, 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.”
Online commentators were similarly critical of Qwabe’s actions. Charmaine Rowlands wrote:
“I cannot believe an educated person — educated with a “white racist” grant by the way — could stoop this low.”