South Africa's ANC denies party leader smoked pot

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) -- South Africa's governing party is denying media reports its leader reminisced at a funeral about smoking marijuana with an anti-apartheid veteran.

At the funeral Thursday that drew some of the biggest names in the African National Congress, party leader Jacob Zuma shared an anecdote about smoking hand-rolled cigarettes with Billy Nair when both were political prisoners on Robben Island.

The ANC said in a statement Friday that Zuma meant tobacco, not marijuana -- though it added: "The ANC understands how Zuma's statement could have been misunderstood."

Nair was 79 when he suffered a stroke and died Oct. 23. He was detained on Robben Island for 20 years for anti-apartheid activities. After apartheid ended, he served in the first all-race Parliament.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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