Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Pope Francis 'doesn't 'do drugs'

13 July 2015, 20:00

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Monday joked that he did not have to "take drugs" when questioned by a journalist as to the secret of his energy during a whirlwind tour of three Latin American countries.

The 78-year-old pontiff delivered about two dozen speeches and said several masses during a weeklong trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay.

"You would like to say that I take drugs!" he said in jest, speaking in the plane flying him back to Rome from Asuncion, Paraguay's capital.

"Mate is what helps me," he said, referring to a traditional caffeine-infused beverage popular in the pope's native land Argentina.

"I have never tried coca. That should be made clear," he said, smilingly after Bolivian authorities said they did not exclude him chewing coca leaves to deal with the altitude in La Paz, perched 3,600 metres (11,800 feet) above sea level.

Coca is native to western South America and is known throughout the world for its psychoactive alkaloid cocaine. Chewing the leaves or drinking coca tea does not produce the intense high people experience with cocaine.

The pope's visit, his ninth trip abroad, has been notable for a number of historical pronouncements.

The pontiff decried the scourge of corruption as the "gangrene of a people," railed against ideologies, called for an end to poverty and lamented today's consumerist society.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Deal with corruption or lose in 2...

A Jubilee Party MP says that the unending corruption claims against the government are killing President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election efforts for 2017. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
MP accuses Raila of making up fal...

An MP has accused CORD leader Raila Odinga of bringing up non existent corruption scandals to hurt the Jubilee government. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave office if you can't handle ...

Leave office if you cannot handle corruption, an MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Give me the chance to unseat Uhur...

Give me the chance to send President Uhuru Kenyatta home, Kalonzo Musyoka tells Kenyans. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Explain your foreign trips since ...

Explain your foreign trips, Musalia Mudavadi tells President Uhuru Kenyatta. Read more...