OSCAR-winning actress Charlize Theron has been slammed by her relatives, who accuse her of ignoring them on her recent trip back to her native South Africa.

After picking up her coveted accolade for her efforts in MONSTER, stunning Charlize made her way back to her home country where she met up with the country's former president Nelson Mandela and AIDS orphans.

However, family members say she turned her back on them as they waited outside a charity event for hours in the hope of speaking with her.

CINDY HEARN, Charlize's 28-year-old cousin and childhood pal, says she and her daughters, CELESTE, six, and CECILIA, two, stood for four hours on the night of 10 March (04) outside a Johannesburg event hall, where Charlize was guest of honour at a charity gala for the prevention of domestic abuse.

But Charlize's limousine rolled slowly by her relatives as Cindy's daughters held up magazines in an eager bid to land an autograph.

A fuming Cindy, who grew up with Charlize in the rural farming town of Benoni, tells America's STAR magazine, "It was humiliating and sad for us. She was too grand to even acknowledge us. I don't know how to explain to my two little girls that their 'auntie' is just too important for them now.

"She told the world she was bringing her Oscar home. Why doesn't she bring it to her real home and show it to all of us?"

Cindy's 16-year-old brother HENDRICK THERON, who also waited, says he sent a note to Charlize through her security personnel, saying the family members were outside - but never heard back.

Cindy and Hendrick's dad is DANIE THERON, the brother of Charlize's father CHARLES, whom the actress' mother GERDA shot to death in 1991 at home in self-defence.

Relatives on her father's side say Charlize hasn't contacted them since leaving South Africa shortly after the incident.

19/03/2004 09:25