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South African pro-pot activist lights joint during live news broadcast

"This is the reality of cannabis while this man continues to blah blah blah," Andre du Plessis said after lighting a joint during a live SABC broadcast.

By Ben Hooper

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, May 12 (UPI) -- A South African marijuana legalization activist became fed up with a debate he was having on broadcaster SABC and sparked a joint on live TV.

Andre du Plessis, a vocal proponent of marijuana legalization in South Africa, was participating in a live debate with David Bayever, deputy chair of the Central Drug Authority, when he became noticeably annoyed by Bayever's statement that "xenophobia" was delaying the agency's position paper on legalizing recreational use of cannabis.

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Du Plessis, who was being filmed in a separate location from Bayever and the SABC anchor, then lit a marijuana cigarette and started smoking.

When prompted for closing comments, du Pessis blew a plume of smoke at the camera. "I think that's all I've got to say," he said.

The campaigner, who is head of the Cannabis Working Group, later confirmed he was smoking cannabis, or "dagga," as it is sometimes called in South Africa.

"The reality is that people smoke it, and I did," he told eNCA. "This is the reality of cannabis while this man continues to blah blah blah."

SABC, which posted video of the incident to YouTube, said it does not support du Plessis' actions.

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"The SABC Broadcaster and the SABC Newsroom does not condone the actions of our guest Andre Du Plessis," the company said in the video's YouTube description.

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