A former Oxford student and Rhodes scholar at the University of Cape Town was filmed furiously smashing a cell phone camera out of a student’s hands after the student videotaped him disrupting a lecture as part of a social justice statement.
Ntokozo Qwabe caused a ruckus by hopping on a law school lecture hall table and banging his stick while chanting. After a student took out his phone and began filming Qwabe’s loud disturbances, Qwabe took his stick and bashed the cell phone out of the student’s hands. The following is footage captured from the student’s phone:
Other students continued filming the scene, as captured below:
Qwabe and his fellow protesters shouted that they were performing a “shutdown” at the university lecture hall, where they were protesting “white arrogance” and “black oppression.” As faculty members asked that they step down from the tables on which they were hopping and chanting, one of them repeated over a loudspeaker, “Can white arrogance move?” Other black protesters flipped their middle fingers to the second camera, saying, “You will not victimize me for s**t.”
The protesters insisted the law lecture “cannot continue.”
“A shutdown is a shutdown,” one protester was filmed saying. “Operations cannot continue while we suffer as black people.”
After footage of the scene circulated on the internet, Qwabe posted on Facebook that he “did not touch the student[…] only his phone.” Later after further thought, he added to Facebook that he wished he had “whipped the white apartheid settler colonial entitlement out of the bastard,” because the white student had taken a video of him without his consent. The following is the entirety of his latest rant on Facebook:
It is NOT true that I ‘assaulted’ and ‘whipped with a stick’ a white student during our shutdown of the arrogant UCT Law Faculty yesterday!
Although I wish I’d actually not been a good law abiding citizen & whipped the white apartheid settler colonial entitlement out of the bastard – who continued to video record us without our consent – this is not what happened as the media is reporting.
As the video footage klearly shows, we were singing peacefully & waiting for the lecture to be officially called off, and the students to exit the lecture venue – because the Law Faculty had no business continuing with lectures when we had shut down the rest of the university. Contrary to what our delusional toxic superiority complex tells us, we are NOT special as law students! The Law Faculty will continue being shut down like the rest of the university!
Anyways, so, while singing peacefully, the said white student kept video recording us. A black womxn I was with repeatedly asked him nicely to stop recording her. He then turned the camera my way & I asked him nicely to stop. When he refused, I used my protest stick (which I carry around for cultural purposes) to push the phone out of his hand onto the floor. He picked it up & continued to video, at which point I came closer to him & told him to switch it the fuck off. He then kindly put it back onto his pocket & that was that.
You see, no ONE was touched – let alone assaulted during the incident. Unless the bastard’s phone is a ‘person’ under South Afrikan law, of course, and would like to lay a charge of assault. In which case, comrade phone can go ahead & lay this charge. I mean who am I to stop a whole assaulted phone from invoking its rights lol!
Otherwise, people must please stop annoying us about this petty non-issue invented by the media. While word has it that the instruction to video record us came from the Dean of Law (a whole womxn of colour!), we are klear that we will not be subjected to such white violence. The violent anthropologisingof articulations of black pain without black people’s consent is as old as settler colonial domination itself. We refuse to continue operating under the white gaze!
So ke, please. No more questions and interview requests on this non-incident. There is no story here, and I’m definitely not about to further engage the white media’s meek attempts to found one! If anything, we should put the white media on perpetual voicemail & not take anything it says on the student movement seriously! Rather rely on firsthand accounts of those on the ground. Otherwise bye!
Presumably after receiving much-needed rebuke from his elders, Qwabe stubbornly posted to Facebook, “Older black people who want to silence us on the basis that they fought against apartheid need to shut the f**k up!!! We are here because you failed us! So please!”
Qwabe is the recipient of the prestigious Rhodes scholarship, which includes 13,658 UK pounds per year in addition to covering university and college fees, living expenses, and up to three years of study at the University of Oxford. The scholarship was named after Cecil Rhodes, the former prime minister of the Cape Colony in South Africa. Ironically, Qwabe was in the news just last December for forcibly removing a plaque commemorating Rhodes at Oxford and demanding the late prime minister’s statue be taken down because he was an “ardent advocate of colonialism.”
“Whipped the white apartheid settler colonial entitlement out of the bastard.”
Ntokozo Qwabe’s wish for what he could have done to the student who filmed his protest
Just earlier this year, Qwabe had made a young white waitress cry after he left her a note that read in all caps, “WE WILL GIVE TIP WHEN YOU RETURN THE LAND.” Later, he boasted about it on his Facebook page, gleefully and proudly describing how he made the young girl “start[s] shaking” and “burst[s] into typical white tears” after he left her the note.
After a long rant about how he watched a bunch of “white people” drop “white tears” at the cafe, Qwabe had concluded:
Moral of the story: the time has come when no white person will be absolved. We are tired of “not all white people” and all other bullshit. We are here, and we want the stolen land back. No white person will be out here living their best life while we are out here being a landless and dispossessed black mass. NO white person shall rest. It is irrelevant whether you personally have land/wealth or you don’t. Go to your fellow white people & mobilise for them to give us the land back. That will be the starting point of all our interactions from now. We will agitate all our spaces with the big question: WHERE IS THE LAND?
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