47,000 people sign petition to have this student's funding removed
More than 47,000 people have signed a petition for this student to have his Oxford scholarship removed, after he he refused to tip a white waitress last week, leaving the note "WE WILL GIVE TIP WHEN YOU RETURN THE LAND" on the bill instead.
Oxford have rejected the call for Ntokozo Qwabe to be stripped of his scholarship, defending the right of free speech for their students.
The petition, which has over 47,000 signatures, reads:
"Dear Louise Richardson -Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford Please accept this signed petition as an official request for your institution to revoke Mr Ntokozo Qwabe's Oxford scholarship, or at the very least, initiate disciplinary action for his recent cowardly and disrespectful behaviour displayed towards a working class female citizen in a Cape Town cafe.
Mr Ntokozo Qwabe and friend(s) violated a person’s dignity, publicly degraded and humiliated her, and created a highly offensive situation which Mr Ntokozo Qwabe has since taken great pleasure in narcissistically boasting over her reaction across social media.
Mr Ntokozo Qwabe clearly does not uphold the values expected of an institution such as Oxford University and his actions have ultimately brought your educational establishment’s image into disrepute. We ask the university to consider the irony that Mr Ntokozo Qwabe is pursuing a career in Law when his personal conduct in this situation is highly questionable.
Whilst it is understood that student confidentiality is important for any educational establishment, and it’s likely that you will be obligated to honour this confidentiality to “protect” him, but please note that Mr Ntokozo Qwabe did not display any such integrity or honourable behaviour towards the waitress.
I would also like to inform the public of the criteria which are used in the selection of Rhodes Scholars (I want to especially highlight two):
1. "Truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship."
2. "Moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one's fellow beings."
Mr Ntokozo Qwabe, one of the leaders of the Rhodes Must Fall movement at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, boasted on Facebook about the way he and friends treated waitress, Ashleigh Schultz, at a cafe in Observatory, Cape Town.
Schultz was reportedly reduced to tears after they 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.
One of the online campaigns was triggered by an outraged South African, Sihle Ngobese, who decided to pay the tip himself and 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.
Here is mr Qwabe's full Facebook post (This post was later removed by FACEBOOK for breaking community rules) :
An Oxford University spokesperson said the University will not be revoking Ntokozo's scholarship, saying that Oxford is a place for free speech.
“Oxford is a place where non-violent speech, however objectionable, can be expressed and challenged."
Supporters of the petition were disappointed with the response, writing:
“I would have applauded Oxford Uni had they expelled him but now this is a disgrace and a mockery.”
“It would appear that Oxford University is failing dismally at instilling a sense of respect in this particular individual.”
However Oxford say they'll continue to support the right to free speech at university.
“Our students may voice opinions which others believe to be misguided, or which they find offensive. They have a right to do this but, in exercising it, we expect them to respect other people and the law.”
Whilst you're here why not grab yourself a freebie?