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Speech in FNB ad was scripted – ANC

ANC says the views portrayed in FNB’s advert are not those of the South African youth.

A screenshot from one of the ads in a campiagn by FNB that has sparked controversy. Picture: FNBTV via YouTube.

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC on Monday lashed out at First National Bank (FNB) over its latest advert, saying the views portrayed in the campaign are not those of the South African youth.

The bank released the advert, in which a young girl presents a speech of her vision for a better South Africa to her Soweto classmates, on Friday.

ANC spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said FNB was using children as pawns to portray its own political views.

"It is evident from the advertisement that the views presented in this advertisement are engineered and doctored, as most of them are reading from a script, as opposed to articulating their genuine views."

The ruling party said the advert was disrespectful to the country's democracy and to the elders who fought for many years to secure freedom for all South Africans.

The bank's campaign has also been slammed by the ANC Youth League and the Young Communist League while the DA has thrown its weight behind the campaign.

FNB said the advert is being misinterpreted.

The bank's spokesperson, Bernice Samuels, said its campaign was based entirely on nation building.

"We have a fundamental belief in really just building a stronger, unified, value-based nation. And I think secondly, we just have a fundamental belief in the power of help, that help is a bridge and can take you from can't to can."

It seems however it was not just that one advert that angered politicians.

'FNB AD CAMPAIGN IS JUST A FRONT'

Speaking to the _Kieno Kammies Show _on 567 CapeTalk, ANCYL's Head of Communication, Khusela Sangoni-Khawe, said the original advertising campaign was a front for another series of advertisements, placed on FNB's blog which had not been broadcasted and were since removed.

Sangoni-Khawe said that the removal of these adverts was wrong, and that the public needed to see them in order to engage in critical debate.

She went on to say that one advert likened the death penalty to abortion and the entire campaign instigates the youth to rise against the incumbent government.

In response, Samuels said that they respected the ANCYL's right to respond, but were shocked by the accusations made by the league.

Samuels said that FNB did not seek to make political statements, but rather to encourage South Africans to engage in and strengthen the power of help.

The adverts express the views of South African youth about their hopes and dreams for the future of the country.

The bank claims the views are unscripted, uncensored and anonymous.

The video has since been removed.