Charlize Theron Joins President Obama at Nelson Mendela’s South African Memorial Service

Posted Tuesday December 10, 2013 10:15 AM GMT

Johannesburg, South Africa was buzzing this morning as big names came together in celebration of Nelson Mandela's remarkable 95 years on earth.

Charlize Theron made a trip to her native country to join President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Bono and Nelson’s wife Winnie Mandela for the official memorial service honoring the late icon.

President Obama stepped up to the podium to pay tribute to Mendela, or as friends called him Madiba. “It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailor as well; to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you. He changed laws, but also hearts.”

Obama went on to say that Mendela’s death should inspire fellow political leaders like himself, adding, “There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality.”

“There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. And there are too many of us who stand on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.”

As previously reported by GossipCenter, the former South African leader passed away on Thursday, December 5 at the age of 95.

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