Charlize set to spread peace at home

2013-07-28 10:00

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President Jacob Zuma will meet Hollywood star Charlize Theron tomorrow – and even the presidency is a little starstruck.

Theron will meet Zuma at the Union Buildings in Pretoria in her capacity as a UN Messenger of Peace to discuss the fight against HIV and Aids.

On Friday, Theron tweeted: “Excited 4 the opportunity 2 speak w/President Zuma about helping youth in my home country stay HIV-free #SouthAfrica.”

Theron spoke to Zuma in Switzerland earlier this year, but this will be their first official meeting on South African soil.

Bongani Majola, the director of communications in the presidency, admitted that he was excited to meet the actress from Benoni.

“I cannot comment on the details, but personally I wouldn’t want to miss this meeting,” he said yesterday.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj will not be so lucky as he is scheduled to visit Zimbabwe tomorrow.

Maharaj said it was protocol for UN ambassadors to request meetings with heads of state.

Zuma and Theron met at a conference in Switzerland in January, soon after it was announced that she had won the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award for humanitarian work.

“We are proud of our Charlize,” Zuma said in a statement at the time.

“I assured her that South Africans love her and wish her all the best.”

The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project finances programmes aimed at curbing HIV infections in young people, particularly in South Africa.

Theron will be accompanied tomorrow by Michel Sidibé, the executive director of UNAids, from Mali.

Other UN Messengers of Peace include Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, American cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and Hollywood actor George Clooney.

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