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Teary-eyed Theron meets Madiba

March 12, 2004

Theron bursts into tears during the meeting with Mandela yesterday in Johannesburg
Photo: AFP
JOHANNESBURG — South African Oscar winner Charlize Theron burst into tears when she met former president Nelson Mandela on Thursday.

"I love you so much," Theron said when she met the elder statesman at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, Johannesburg.

She told Mandela he had inspired her and many other people. "I love you too," Mandela said, wiping away tears, and hugged and kissed a visibly moved Theron.

He thanked Theron for putting South Africa on the map and praised her for doing so well in her chosen career.

"Even those who did not know it now know where South Africa is," Mandela said.

People like Theron showed that the present South Africa was different from the country that suffered the scourge of apartheid, he said.

Theron wore a simple white dress for the occasion and had her hair tied back in a ponytail.

She also met a number of Mandela's grandchildren and signed books and pictures for them. –Sapa

  • Charlize Theron in South Africa gallery

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