Angola: Court summons Angolan president and daughter

Africa Review
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A court in Angola has summoned President José Eduardo dos Santos and his daughter Isabel over the latter’s appointment to the public oil company.

A lawyers’ spokesman David Mendes said the president and daughter have been given eight days to appear before the Supreme Court.

‘The Supreme Court has already cited the country’s President and his daughter Isabel dos Santos so that in eight days they respond to our contestation,’ he added.

His wife

President dos Santos in June appointed his eldest daughter a non-executive director of the state-owned oil firm Sonangol.

Twelve lawyers challenged the appointment and petitioned the Attorney-General Office to annul it for going against the public probity laws.

‘The law says a public agent must not nominate or allow nominations of his wife or his first degree relatives,’ the lawyers argued.

Phone networks

Ms Isabel dos Santos’s assets in Angola include a 25 per cent stake in Unitel, one of the country’s two mobile phone networks and another 25 per cent stake in Banco Internacional de Credito (BIC).

Angola is the second-largest producer of crude in Africa and was regularly cited as one of the continent’s fastest growing economies.

However, since the beginning of 2015, the southern African country has faced a serious economic crisis occasioned by the oil price depression on the international market.

Sovereign fund

Angola relies on crude exports for two-thirds of tax revenue, and 95 per cent of its foreign currency receipts.

Critics say the billions of oil dollars flowing in had not benefited the ordinary people, and had only succeeded in creating an elite few.

According to the United Nations, the oil sector represents 97 per cent of Angola’s exports and 80 per cent of public revenues and employs one per cent of the population who with less than $2 per day.

President dos Santos in 2013, appointed his eldest son, Mr José Filomeno dos Santos, to head the strategic $5 billion Angolan investment sovereign fund, created in October 2012.

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