Now THAT'S a tip: Twitter raises R13‚000 for RMF waitress

30 April 2016 - 14:41 By Dave Chambers

A kind-hearted gesture towards the Cape Town waitress reduced to tears by a #RhodesMustFall activist has snowballed into a R13‚000 tip for the employee.Donations received from as far afield as England‚ Canada and Germany swelled a fund for the waitress to R13‚381 by 11am on Saturday‚ according to Roman Cabanac of Johannesburg‚ one of the three men behind the Twitter campaign.The first gift - R50 - came from Sihle Ngobese‚ the spokesman for Western Cape social development MEC Albert Fritz‚ who went to the ObzCafe after work on Friday to find the waitress.She had been reduced to tears by Ntokozo Qwabe‚ an RMF leader at Oxford University‚ who then posted a Facebook rant about what he and fellow activist Wandile Dlamini had done.He wrote: "We are out at ObzCafe … and the time for the bill comes. Our waitress is a white woman. I ask … what the going rate for tips/gratuity is in these shores. They look at me very reluctantly and they say 'give me the slip‚ I'll sort that out'. I give them the slip."They take a pen & slip in a note where the gratuity/tip amount is supposed to be entered. The note reads in bold: "WE WILL GIVE TIP WHEN YOU RETURN THE LAND". The waitress comes to us with a card machine for the bill to be sorted out. She sees the note & starts shaking. She leaves us & bursts into typical white tears (like why are you crying when all we've done is make a kind request? lol!)."Ngobese told TimesLive on Saturday that he found Qwabe's post "insulting‚ racist and disgraceful" and felt the least he could do was to give the waitress the tip she had been denied. He posted a photograph on Twitter of his receipt for R50‚ with the handwritten words "And the kindness is free. F*** RMF!""Qwabe misses the complete irony of what he did‚" Ngobese told TimesLive. "If you want to talk about privilege‚ being a master's graduate from Oxford and lording it over a minimum-wage waitress is the height of irony. It speaks to the disdain I have for RMF's claims to being a voice for the downtrodden."The fundraising campaign snowballed after Cabanac and Jonathan Witt - who hosted Ngobese as a guest last week on their CliffCentral podcast The Renegade Report - got involved.Cabanac told TimesLive: "It was a disgraceful act (by Qwabe) and exposes RMF for what they are. They have lost all credibility‚ and their politics and antics leave a lot to be desired."Not everyone was supportive of the fundraising. eNCA report Nickolaus Bauer and Cabanac engaged in a Twitter spat‚ with Bauer saying: "What'd you ever do for black domestic workers living racism daily?Why make #obzcafe waitron a #whiteprivilege martyr?"Meanwhile‚ a blogger for The Spectator magazine in the UK‚ Candice Holdsworth‚ said on Saturday the incident involving Qwabe showed that RMF activists had become the very thing they hate.Holdsworth wrote: "Showing a stunning lack of self-awareness‚ Qwabe‚ in his recollection of the incident‚ does not recognise that as a student of law at one of the world’s most prestigious universities‚ he is probably more privileged than a waitress working a minimum-wage job. Even if she is white and he is black.""It seems the poisonous politics of victimhood and racial division that Qwabe subscribes to has destroyed his ability to empathise with another human being. The waitress was just an ordinary person doing her job. She did not deserve to be treated in that way. The RMF dinner party were seemingly oblivious to that."Did she have the political language to counter their accusations? Not everyone has a degree from an elite university nor the time and inclination to engage in those sorts of ideological debates. In fact‚ one could say that they took advantage of their position of relative power and exploited her comparative weakness."Whatever happened to the old leftist notion of solidarity with the working class? That has clearly been abandoned in favour of fractious identity politics. Qwabe and his political ilk are so selfishly absorbed in their own self-declared ‘pain’ that they feel justified lashing out at an entirely innocent person whose own hurt they are incapable of registering. This is how political movements become the very things they hate."A spokesman at ObzCafe told TimesLive on Saturday that he did not want to comment. Owner Gavin Hagger told Weekend Argus it was "unfortunate and very sad" that customers had "played the political card".TMG Digital/The Times

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day, Financial Mail or Rand Daily Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.

X