On-air dagga smoker was irresponsible - CDA

Johannesburg - The man interviewed on television alongside a dagga activist who apparently smoked marijuana live on air, has condemned his fellow guest's behaviour.

"He could not discipline himself at that stage and we cannot believe that they [those calling for the legalisation of dagga] can show discipline in future," David Bayever, deputy chairperson of the Central Drug Authority told News24 on Tuesday.

The interview happened at the SABC on Monday. Bayever was in one studio with the anchor, while the head of the Cannabis Working Group, Andre du Plessis, was in another studio and joined the interview on The Newsroom via satellite.

Bayever had just told the anchor that the CDA was doing research on the implications of legalising dagga but that recent xenophobic attacks delayed the process, without explaining how.

‘Do your job’

An agitated Du Plessis who has been part of several campaigns proposing the legalisation of marijuana in the country rubbished Bayever's claims.

“The CDA is 11 years late in presenting its position paper. Please don’t bring xenophobia into this as a form excuse into being late and doing your job,” Du Plessis said to Bayever.

Du Plessis then placed a joint in his mouth and lit it up.

The anchor then went back to a puffing Du Plessis, for any possible "closing comments".

Giving a thumbs-up signal, Du Plessis blew smoke at the camera, saying "I think that's all I got to say".

With the camera still rolling, he got up, took off his earpiece and jacket and walked off the set.

‘No regard’

Bayever said he was actually not aware of what had happened and only later saw the clip on News24.

"Had I seen it, I would have said something in the studio," he said.

He condemned Du Plessis's behaviour and said it was irresponsible and showed no disregard for what they were trying to achieve in holding the talks.

He said Du Plessis's actions demonstrated the type of behaviour that the country could see if marijuana were to be legalised.

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