Angolan Dos Santos’s Crumbling Family Business Empire
Critics of Angola’s former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who died Friday, accused him of stripping the nation of substantially of its vast oil prosperity to enrich himself and his family members.
Dos Santos, who stepped down in 2017 following 38 many years of iron-fisted rule, appointed relatives associates to crucial financial work opportunities for the duration of his presidency.
Banking, telecoms, media and most appreciably oil ended up amid the industries that felt the much-reaching affect of the Dos Santos brood.
He “privatised the state to reward his family and a handful of associates,” claimed investigative journalist Rafael Marques de Morais, who was highly critical of Dos Santos’ alleged plunder.
Right here is a critique of the principal figures in the “household business”:
Regarded derisively as “the princess”, 49-calendar year-previous Isabel was the community deal with of the Dos Santos business empire.
Her father appointed her to head the point out oil giant Sonangol, but she was dismissed shortly soon after his successor Joao Lourenco took business.
Isabel dos Santos explained herself as an “entrepreneur” on her Twitter account and the US-based Forbes journal when rated her Africa’s richest girl.
It approximated her particular fortune to be as substantially as $3.5-billion.
She was lively in the telecoms sector and controlled Unitel, Angola’s major mobile telephone operator, which she stop in 2020.
She also held shares in Portuguese media big NOS, whilst investing heavily in the banking sector, sitting on the boards of Banco de Fomento Angola, Banco BIC — as well as its Portuguese affiliate — and the industry chief BFA.
And along with her now late husband Sindika Dokolo, she owned the luxury Swiss superstar jeweller De Grisogono, which went bust in 2020.
But that organization empire has been mostly dismantled considering that a 2020 ICIJ investigation into the shady origins of her fortune.
She is getting probed for a long listing of crimes in Angola, which includes mismanagement, embezzlement and income laundering throughout her stewardship of the condition-run oil huge Sonangol.
She has vehemently denied the accusations in opposition to her as a politically-inspired “witch-hunt”.
Past yr she was ordered to surrender a stake in the Portuguese energy firm Galp well worth an believed $500 million
In 2013, Jose Filomeno de Sousa dos Santos, nicknamed Zenu, was appointed by his father to head up a sovereign prosperity fund. At 35, Filomeno was managing the fund really worth $5 billion.
6 years later, he was arrested for fraud, cash laundering and affect peddling. He was located responsible of striving to embezzle up to $1.5 billion from the sovereign wealth fund, which he oversaw from 2013 to 2018.
In 2020 he was jailed for five several years, generating him 1 of the to start with members of the former presidential family to be prosecuted as portion of an anti-graft marketing campaign led by Lourenco since he came to energy in 2017.
Married to a Portuguese businessman, Welwitschia dos Santos was a main figure in the Angolan media landscape.
Now in her mid 40s, she held unique positions at TPA, a general public broadcaster and led two tabloid-design and style print titles.
Lessen profile than her 50 percent-sister Isabel, Welwitschia — whose nickname is “Tchize” — controlled a single of Angola’s major multimedia and promoting organizations.
She also turned the to start with Angolan woman to guide a major soccer club soon after she took the reins at Benfica de Luanda.
Pursuing her brother’s conviction, she accused Lourenco of unjustly concentrating on the dos Santos household for political factors.
“Lourenco (is) working with the kids to damage the politically much better father,” she advised AFP.
Ana Paula, a former air hostess who grew to become Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ 2nd spouse and in accordance to the nearby media was concerned in quite a few diamond miners.
In accordance to Angola’s monthly economics journal Expensao, Ana Paula Cristovao Lemos also specifically held five p.c of Sol lender in addition to the 10 % stake she experienced in the small business through her foundation.