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Golden girl Theron meets Mbeki

Mariette le Roux | March 9, 2004

Theron is presented with an ounce of gold still ingrained in the rock in which it was formed
PRETORIA — South African Oscar-winner Charlize Theron on Monday got back a piece of the gold she so proudly dedicated to her home country.

At a meeting with President Thabo Mbeki in Pretoria in the evening, the actress was presented with an ounce of gold still ingrained in the rock in which it was formed.

The gift was presented to her by mining bosses Patrice Motsepe and Rick Menel. It was contained in a wooden box with the wording: "Presented to Charlize Theron, our South African star, by President Thabo Mbeki".

The president congratulated Theron on clinching the golden Oscar statuette for her best actress performance as serial killer prostitute Aileen Wuornos in the film Monster.

"Well done, excellent, we are very happy," he said. "The whole country is very proud."

Elegantly dressed in a white pants suit and orange top, the beauty queen towered over Mbeki in high-heeled white sandals.

Flanked by her mother, Gerda, she expressed delight at the gift and her meeting with the president. "It's lovely, it's beautiful," she said in an American accent of the golden present.

Theron thanked Mbeki for a message of congratulations sent to her in Los Angeles via her mother. "She said you had gone out grooving," Mbeki joked -- which Theron laughingly denied. Adding a special touch to the occasion was the presence of three Pretoria residents who met Mbeki while he was out electioneering in Silverton earlier in the day. They asked him if he had met Theron yet, and he invited them along for the event.

"I think I'm still dreaming -- it's fantastic," said Lynn Potgieter of the star sighting.

She kept fidgeting with her hair, saying: "I never even got a chance to do my hair."

The star-struck group was immediately swept to the Presidential Guest House in Mbeki's convoy after the invitation was extended.

Nearby neighbour Dawie de Beer (51) said being in the presence of Theron reminded him of a joke with the punch-line: "For my wife I'd kill a bull". But in this case, he quipped, the wording should go: "For her, I'd kill my wife and the bull."

De Beer's 18-year-old daughter Maritsa said she was thrilled to meet South Africa's top actress. "She is an example for South Africa. She is beautiful and just radiates love." Theron was even more beautiful in person, the De Beers's agreed.

About 50 journalists and photographers jostled for a better spot before the red carpet on which Theron and Mbeki emerged. The pair smiled patiently as they were asked by photographers from different corners of the room to look their way for a snapshot.

The 28-year-old blonde is also scheduled to meet former president Nelson Mandela on her South African visit.

The former dancer, who hails from Benoni east of Johannesburg, put on 14kg to portray on film the disturbed American prostitute Wuornos. - Sapa

  • Charlize Theron in South Africa gallery

    Related links stories
    Deep Inside Hollywood: entertainment gossip [04/03/2004]
    76th Academy Awards gallery [01/03/2004]
    Theron first African to win Academy Award [01/03/2004]




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