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'ANC's retort to criticism must be allowed'

The ANC says it has no problem with the private sector criticising it, after clashes with big business.

Gwede Mantashe. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC on Monday defended its relationship with big business, saying it had no problem with the private sector criticising it.

The ruling party recently clashed with First National Bank, after the bank aired a series of controversial adverts featuring young South Africans highlighting some of the country's problem areas.

The ANC said adverts that formed part of the campaign was disrespectful to the country's democracy and to the elders who fought for many years to secure freedom for all South Africans.

They also argued the views expressed were those of the bank and not genuine views of the children featured.

Although it pulled the controversial adverts from the internet, the bank was also forced to apologise to the ANC.

The party also recently lashed out at Anglo American Platinum Mine, for its plans to retrench 14,000 workers during its restructuring process.

But the party's secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, said all they wanted was a constructive relationship.

"The private sector must have a right to criticise us, but it can't be described as 'outbursts' or 'bullying' when we express our views on that criticism."