South Africa: Student movement splinters as patriarchy muscles out diversity

It was a shocking series of images: a young woman - Thenjiwe Mswane - being violently handled by a group of young men. Mswane was part of a largely feminist and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexed, queer and asexual (LGBTIQA+) student group. They had gathered at Johannesburg's University of the Witwatersrand to protest against the exclusion and marginalisation of groups and members of the #FeesMustFall movement from a recent campaign. She was attacked by other members of the #FeesMustFall movement after she'd confronted them with her group's concerns.

In 2015 South Africa's student movement was an impressive force. But cracks are appearing along party political, ideological and class lines. More recently the question of gender, and the equality of LGBTIQA+ individuals, have come to the fore.

A strident fringe at universities, with limited but vocal support off campuses, asserts that addressing the equality of women and the marginalisation of LGBTIQA+ people is a "distraction" from the unity of black struggle and that it must wait until after some mythical revolution. Others, also enjoying some support in wider society, insist that the equality of women and LGBTIQA+ people must be part of any genuinely radical action.  Read more via the Conversation