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On February 1, Progressive Professionals Forum president Mzwanele Manyi tweeted the following: "Trump is very clear: America 1st. Brexit is very clear: UK 1st. S Africa MUST be clear about SA 1st; NOT Rating Agencies 1st." Beautiful in its brevity, this message reveals the tensions and contradictions inherent in the world and the state of our nation. The tweet aligns the project of black economic transformation — Manyi styles himself as an agent of transformation — with far-right nationalism in the US, UK and across Europe. "SA First" was the slogan of the National Party under Barry Hertzog and DF Malan. The allusion may be unintentional, but Manyi’s kind of "radical economic transformation" has much in common with the nationalist politics of Hertzog and Malan in the 1920s and 1930s. Afrikaner nationalists grounded all politics in an appeal to the nation, which they regarded as a community composed of white races. They were deeply hostile to what they called "foreign monopoly capita...

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