Cape Town – The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape on Monday joined those publicly condemning the recent antics of a leading member of the Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) movement abroad who had refused to tip a waitress in Observatory, Cape Town.
“Ntokozo Qwabe’s behaviour is as much borderline criminal behaviour as it is helplessly foolish,” said ANC provincial spokesperson Yonela Diko.
Qwabe, a leading figure in the RMF movement at Oxford University, boasted about the incident on Facebook, which took place at famed Obz Cafe on Thursday.
“LOL wow unable to stop smiling because something so black, wonderful LIT just happened!,” he wrote.
According to Qwabe, credit was due to his RMF comrade, “radical non-binary trans black activist” Wandile Dlamini.
Detailed in the post, Qwabe explained that when the time came for the bill, he did not know what the appropriate amount was for a tip. Dlamini then took the slip of paper and wrote, “WE WILL GIVE TIP WHEN YOU RETURN THE LAND”.
When the waitress, 24-year-old Ashleigh Schultz, returned to process payment, she looked at the note and allegedly started shaking and teared up – which Qwabe referred to as “typical white tears”.
Qwabe goes on to detail how he and his fellow diners informed Schultz’ colleague – a white male – that it was premature to start “catching feelings” as “the part where we take up arms hasn’t even come”.
Qwabe ended his post stating that “the time has come when no white person will be absolved”, that “NO white person shall rest”, and that “we” will only interact with white South Africans if they are able to engage on the land issue and when the so-called stolen land will be returned.
Diko weighed in on the land question, saying that “land redistribution has happened and even improved during the last 22 years”.
“The fact that it may have not reached the Qwabe’s – most likely with this youthful foolishness, he does not even know where was this Qwabe land taken – does not mean [that] land distribution has not happened for black people accross the country,” said Diko.
“There is therefore no excuse for such recklessnes and where it begins to hide criminality, it must be dealt with at once,” he said.
The Qwabe/Obz Cafe story gained wide traction online, escalating with the input of Western Cape’s Department of Social Development’s Sihle Ngobese, who then tipped Schultz and wrote on his slip, “F**k RMF”.
In an interview with CapeTalk’s Kieno Kammies, Ngobese explained his action – which sparked nearly R50 000 in funds being raised for Schultz from online sympathisers – saying that, “when we see racism let’s call it out, whoever it comes from”.