A petition for Oxford University to revoke Ntokozo Qwabe’s Rhodes scholarship, or initiate disciplinary actions, has reached 35,000 supporters.
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’s group of friends 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. Both campaigns generated a substantial amount for Schultz, approaching R150,000.
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.
Qwabe’s actions have led to a petition to revoke his scholarship at Oxford University. Jan Hendrik Ferreira, based in the UK, started the petition at Change.org two days ago, and now has 35,250 supporters.
The petition will be delivered to the University of Oxford.
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.
The top comment on the petition site read:
“For anyone in the UK: while Qwabe is out the country, he can still be refused entry on the grounds of incitement to hatred acts when he returns. He has expressly referred in the past to wanting to stay here to study for an MA as well.
“Refer the post to your local police – specifically his call to “take up arms against” whites. A separate petition to the Home Office should be established to have his entry and all further entry refused on ‘public good’ grounds.”