Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, who ruled Angola for 38 years with an iron fist, died Friday in a hospital in Barcelona after suffering from cardiac arrest, the government said.
With “great pain and consternation”, the Luanda government posted on Facebook confirmation of the death of Dos Santos at 11:10 a.m. (1010 GMT). He was 79.
“(The government) presents its deepest feelings of grief to the bereaved family,” the statement read, describing the former leader as a “statesman of great historical stature” leading the country through very difficult times.
Angolan President Joao Lourenco, who is running for re-election in August, declared five days of national mourning, starting on Saturday, and set up a government commission to organize funerals.
A presidential decree ordered half-staff flags and the cancellation of “all shows and political demonstrations”.
But one of Dos Santos’ daughters demanded that an autopsy be performed on the body on suspicion of wrongdoing.
While the former president was in hospital earlier this week, Tchize Dos Santos reported to the Catalan regional police, claiming that her father’s condition was the result of attempted murder.
According to the complaint, she believed that the wife of her father, Ana Paula, and his personal doctor were responsible for the deterioration of his health, said one of her lawyers.
Dos Santos stepped down in September 2017 after 38 years at the helm of the Portuguese-speaking, oil-rich state of Angola.
He was hospitalized in Spain and placed in intensive care after suffering a cardiac arrest on June 23.
Born in the slum of Luanda, he was one of the longest-serving leaders of Africa, using the oil wealth of his nation to make one of his children a billionaire while leaving his people among the poorest on the planet.
During his reign, he avoided the cult of personality that was so often favored by dictators, but instead used secret and authoritarian tactics that he learned during the Soviet era.
And to the extent that he controlled all aspects of Angolan life, he managed his own transition away from power so badly that he ended up in temporary self-imposed exile, with a son in prison and a daughter serving for international legal challenges stood.
– ‘Billions polluted’ –
When he stepped down, dos Santos handed over to former defense minister Lourenco, hand-picked to replace him.
But Lourenco quickly turned to his former patron, and began an anti-corruption battle to recover the billions he suspected were embezzled under dos Santos.
Dos Santos’ eldest daughter Isabel was once named by Forbes as the richest woman in Africa, with a value of $ 3 billion (2.55 billion euros). She is currently conducting a series of investigations into her multinational business dealings.
Angola’s former president Dos Santos dies in Spain
Source link Angola’s former president Dos Santos dies in Spain