Angola’s dos Santos household empire within the firing line – The Mail & Guardian


Law enforcement companies are cracking down on the excessive profile household of former Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos, accused of plundering revenues from the nation’s huge oil wealth.

Throughout dos Santos’ 38-year rule from 1979, his offspring occupied prime positions within the authorities and in profitable sectors starting from banking, telecoms and media to grease.

Dos Santos’s anointed successor João Lourenço is now dismantling the patronage community since coming to energy in 2017.

Lourenco has led a purge of the administration in addition to public firms, concentrating on dos Santos’s relations who’ve benefitted from nepotism.

Isabel: ‘Africa’s richest lady’

Scornfully dubbed ‘the princess’ by Angolans, the 46-year-old is dos Santos’s eldest daughter and the general public face of the household empire.

Dubbed Africa’s richest lady by US journal Forbes with a fortune estimated at $2.2-billion, Isabel dos Santos headed nationwide oil firm Sonangol however was pressured out by her father’s successor shortly after he got here to energy.

Final month, an Angolan court docket ordered a freeze on her financial institution accounts and belongings.

Isabel dos Santos and her Congolese husband, Sindika Dokolo, are suspected of getting embezzled a billion from the general public companies Sonangol (oil) and Sodiam (diamonds).

She has denied any wrongdoing, calling the accusations “lies,” “pretend information” and “politically motivated.”

Isabel has amassed billions and owns stakes in Banco de Formento Angola — the nation’s main personal financial institution, drinks distributor Sodiba and building materials producer Cimangola.

Jose Filomeno: the indicted son

Jose Filomeno dos Santos, 41, also called “Zenu” has turn into the primary member of the dos Santos clan to be prosecuted.

At the moment on trial with three others together with former central financial institution governor Valter Filipe da Silva, he’s accused of allegedly stealing $1.5-billion from Angola’s $5 billion sovereign wealth fund which he headed from 2013 when his father was in energy.

Filomeno dos Santos was fired from the fund supervisor publish in 2017 by President Lourenço.

He was later positioned in pre-trial detention in September 2018 and was launched six months later pending his trial, which opened final month within the capital Luanda.

He faces a most jail sentence of 12 years, if convicted. He has denied all expenses of cash laundering and embezzlement.

Tchize: the media magnate

An influential determine within the Angolan media, 42-year-old Welwitschia is dos Santos’s second daughter and half-sister of Isabel.

Popularly often called ‘Tchize’, she has managed one in every of Angola’s main multimedia and promoting companies.

Very like a lot of the dos Santos household, Welwitschia dos Santos has moved overseas, claiming threats from the Angola secret service.

She was not too long ago suspended from parliament, the place she served from 2008, after lawmakers voted that her prolonged absence amounted to unjust enrichment.

Ana Paula: the businesswoman spouse

The previous air hostess was Angola’s first girl for 26 years from 1991. She and the previous president have three kids collectively.

The businesswoman owns a stake in plenty of firms in Luanda, together with a personal airline.