Ntokozo Qwabe, one of the leaders of the Rhodes Must Fall movement at Oxford University in the UK, bragged last week on Facebook about the way he treated waitress, Ashleigh Schultz, at a cafe in Observatory, Cape Town.
Schultz was reportedly reduced to tears after Qwabe wrote on the bill: “We will give tip when you return land.”
Following the incident, two separate online campaigns were initiated to raise money for the waitress, purportedly in a show of solidarity against racism and bullying.
Qwabe is the co-founder of Rhodes Must Fall In Oxford – “an organisation determined to decolonise the space, the curriculum, and the institutional memory at, and to fight inter-sectional oppression within, Oxford”.
He is a former law student at KwaZulu-Natal, and received the Rhodes Scholarship to further his studies at England’s Oxford University, in 2013.
He has been critical of the Rhodes Scholarship, claiming it does not buy his silence.
“There is no hypocrisy in being a recipient of a Rhodes scholarship and being publicly critical of Cecil Rhodes and his legacy – a legacy that continues to alienate, silence, exclude and dehumanise in unacceptable ways. There is no clause that binds us to find ‘the good’ in Rhodes’ character, nor to sanitise the imperialist, colonial agenda he propagated.”
In a post on Facebook on Tuesday evening Qwabe said: “White people have started another separate campaign to have me expelled from Oxford University.”
“White people have indicated their intention to lodge a hate speech campaign with the SA Human Rights Commission. I can’t wait for it to be honest,” the activist said.