The Fatuous State of Severity Phumlani Pikoli Pan Macmillan In 2016, many South Africans and people in other countries opened their hearts and wallets after a Cape Town waitress was reduced to tears when a student activist bullied her. After dining, instead of paying a tip — which is not an obligation, but an appreciation of good service — Rhodes scholar Ntokozo Qwabe, who led a campaign to remove a Cecil Rhodes statue at Oxford University in England, wrote on the bill: ‘We will give a tip when you return the land." Qwabe wrote about the incident on his Facebook page, the post went viral and, in response, hundreds of well-wishers donated more than R150,000 to white waitress Ashleigh Schultz, who was working two jobs since becoming a breadwinner after her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Although people of all races donated money, some asked questions that in many ways demonstrated the complex race issues in the country. Would a black waitress subjected to race-baiting receive the s...

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