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ANC overly sensitive with FNB ad - FXI

The Freedom of Expression Institute says the ANC’s reaction could stifle debate.

A screenshot from the FNB ad that has sparked controversy. Picture: FNBTV via YouTube.

JOHANNESBURG - The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) on Tuesday weighed in on the row between the ANC and First National Bank (FNB).

The institute says the ANC and its allies are showing intolerance of views that are critical of government.

Launched last week, the bank's "you can help" campaign shows a series of online videos in which young people share their views of the country.

On Monday, the ruling party lashed out at the bank and said the ANC and the government were under attack in a commercial masquerading as youth views.

But FXI's Phenyo Butale said the ANC is being "overly sensitive".

"We believe that the ruling alliance is free to disagree with and criticise FNB, but it has to do so in a way that is not threatening.

"We have seen them do it in a way that is threatening and likely to stifle debate."