23 January 2013

South Africa: SADTU Adds Its Voice in the Call to FNB to Stop Using School Children to Spread Its Propaganda

Photo: SAnews.gov.za
Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga (left).

The South African Democratic Teachers' Union has come up in support of the ANC and the SACP in condemning the FNB's You Can Help branding campaign.

The campaign is nothing more than an attack on the ANC-led government by FNB using innocent children.

As clients of FNB, SADTU is embarrassed and ashamed to have business dealings with a bank that has stooped so low and used children in uniform to wage a war against government. The utterances of the children in the adverts were not their views but a regurgitation of carefully written scripts. If the interviews were randomly done, as the bank purports, why was there only one view - an anti-government view? Had they also conducted the interviews in no-fee schools where children don't pay school fees, receive free learning materials and meals - surely - we would have a balanced view.

We call on the bank to permanently remove the adverts because they have failed their intended outcome of "motivating South Africans to work together". Instead, they have further polarized the country. We respect the right to freedom of expression and believe this should be guarded and protected at all times, however we should guard against the right being used to vilify.

We would also call upon the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa to look at this campaign and make a ruling on its partiality.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat

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