First National Bank ATMs are seen in Eastgate. File picture: Independent Media

The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) has come out in defence of FNB, saying the bank was only giving voice to the view of some young South Africans, which appeared to be a useful contribution to the national debate.

The FXI called on the ANC to be more tolerant and to be open to criticism and to uphold the spirit of the constitution, which is to promote debate, discussion and the free expression of opinion.

"We do not get to hear enough of the voices and opinions of young people and it is useful and valuable to bring such views to the fore, even if they are critical and discomforting." The ANC said its leadership was yet to decide when to meet FNB. Earlier this week the ad campaign was condemned as treasonous.