Charlize: Madiba, you will be missed

Theron first met the statesman at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Pretoria.

Former President Nelson Mandela with Oscar winner Charlize Theron in March 2004 in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - South African born Oscar winning actress Charlize Theron has paid tribute to former president Nelson Mandela who passed away on Thursday evening.

At 2:07 pm today Charlize tweeted,

My thoughts and love go out to the Mandela family. Rest in Peace Madiba. You will be missed, but your impact on this world will live forever

The star also tweeted at 3:47 pm "There will never be words to say what I'm feeling right now. I am saddened to the depths of my soul. Truly."

Fans will remember Charlize's tearful moment on stage when she first met the elderly statesman at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Pretoria.

The meeting was part of the homecoming Theron promised South Africans during her 2004 Oscar acceptance speech, when she waved the statuette at the camera, and announced, "I'd like to thank South Africa. I'm bringing this home next week," The Guardian reported.

Overcome with emotion the star expressed her love for the statesman, adding that he had been an inspiration to all.

Mandela at the time told reporters that Charlize had put South Africa on the map with her performance as Eileen Wournos in Monster which the actress gained 13 kg for.

Theron, who grew up in the small town of Benoni, was presented with an ounce of gold by former president Thabo Mbeki when they met in November 2004.

The gold stone read "presented to Charlize Theron, our South African star, by President Thabo Mbeki".