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Hol­ly­wood su­per­star An­gelina Jolie jet­ted qui­etly into Jozi on Thurs­day be­cause of con­cerns around “crowd con­trol”.

A source with knowl­edge of the ar­range­ments around the visit of the 40year-old actress and film direc­tor, who ar­rived at OR Tambo In­ter­na­tional Air­port with her sec­ond-el­dest son, Pax (11), told City Press that Jolie’s visit went unan­nounced “be­cause of se­cu­rity con­cerns around crowd con­trol”.

“She also doesn’t want it to be about her, but about the cause she is ad­vanc­ing,” the source said, adding that Jolie would not be hold­ing any press con­fer­ences or giv­ing any in­ter­views.

African Union (AU) Com­mis­sion chair­per­son Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in­vited Jolie to the AU Sum­mit in Sand­ton, where she ex­horted African lead­ers to live up to their com­mit­ments of root­ing out sex crimes against women in con­flict zones.

News about Jolie’s ar­rival had jour­nal­ists sud­denly scur­ry­ing to at­tend a high-level panel dis­cus­sion on gen­der vi­o­lence hosted by Dlamini-Zuma in the spa­cious ground- floor ex­hi­bi­tion hall at the Sand­ton Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

Del­e­gates at­tend­ing other meet­ings in the cen­tre were ap­par­ently un­fazed by the ar­rival of Jolie, who is also a spe­cial en­voy for the UN High Com­mis­sion for Refugees. But a small group of pho­tog­ra­phers and cam­era­men scur­ried around in an ef­fort to get the best shot of her.

Jolie was dressed in a long, mono­chrome tweed dress with large ar­row pleats at the waist and draped sleeves, de­signed by US cou­turier Michael Kors.

She wore min­i­mal make-up and her hair was tied back in a plain pony­tail. Her slim, per­fectly groomed and per­fectly pos­tured fig­ure stood out among the other pan­el­lists.

Be­fore the lunch, which started about half an hour late, Dlamini-Zuma boo­gied up and down to the hold­ing room in the back of the hall, wait­ing for Jolie, who ap­peared slightly stiff in con­trast.

This was no red car­pet per­for­mance – although Jolie in­ter­acted ami­ably with her fel­low pan­el­lists, she tried not to at­tract too much at­ten­tion to her­self. She also did not at­tend the gala din­ner with heads of state on Fri­day night.

In her pre­pared speech, she praised Dlamini-Zuma for putting women’s rights at the heart of the AU Sum­mit and urged lead­ers to im­ple­ment their poli­cies on sex­ual crimes.

But dur­ing the au­di­ence dis­cus­sion, Botswana’s For­eign Min­is­ter, Pelonomi Ven­son-Moitoi, urged her to script the is­sue of mar­i­tal rape into her next film. Jolie, speak­ing briefly off the cuff, was less com­mit­tal.

“When it comes to young men and vi­o­lence, what they say in en­ter­tain­ment, you know my field, we do have a re­spon­si­bil­ity,” she said. “There are more sto­ries to be told about this sub­ject.”

Jolie said more dis­cus­sions with lead­ers, like the one on Fri­day, were needed in the fight against sex­ual vi­o­lence.

“So if I may, I would ap­peal to you – I am plead­ing with you – as lead­ers to live up to your com­mit­ments and go be­yond them,” she told the 300 or so African for­eign min­is­ters and other Cabi­net mem­bers and busi­ness­peo­ple.

On Thurs­day, Jolie met with Bri­tish High Com­mis­sioner Ju­dith Mac­gre­gor, and other diplo­mats and ac­tivists, on peace and se­cu­rity in Africa.


An­gelina Jolie speaks at the AU Sum­mit at the Sand­ton Con­ven­tion

Cen­tre on Fri­day

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