First National Bank and First Rand's decision to apologise to the ANC and withdraw its adverts is lamentable. In doing so, it has shown that it is acceptable to be bullied by the governing party, and it has shown the ANC that its bullying tactics work in suppressing critical voices.
It sends out the message to all South African companies that it is not acceptable for them to question or criticize the government or the ANC.
Dissenting voices are healthy in a democracy, and the ANC's overblown offense at FNB's advert was inappropriate and petty. But the ease with which FNB is willing to grovel before the ANC and abandon its principled position is equally inappropriate and bad for democracy.
It is little surprise that many South Africans are already considering closing their FNB accounts.
Mmusi Maimane, DA National Spokesperson