Treason in South Africa

FNB bank just released a series of adverts as apart of a ‘You Can Help’ campaign. The commercials contain unscripted responses from 1600 children interviewed by FNB asking them their hopes for the future of South Africa. The children’s interviews I heard contained a mix of optimism for where the country has come from and concern for real issues such as corruption  facing the country.

The ANCYL (the youth league representing South Africa’s ruling party) has called the advert ‘treasonous’ and called for ‘harsh action’ against the CEO of First National Bank, Michael Jordan. “FNB, in an obviously lame attempt to recreate an Arab Spring of some sort in South Africa, uses children to make unproven claims of a ‘government rife with corruption’,” ANCYL spokesperson Khusela Sangoni-Khawe said in a statement.

This episode reveals the ANC’s absolute intolerance for dissent and South Africa’s tenuious relationship with free speach. I’ve often remarked that government in South Africa resembles the Memphis School Board abet with higher stakes. Real issues are rarely addressed and the stock vilification of those addressing the issues is the norm.



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