(Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos)
The daughter of the former Angolan President and the richest woman in Africa Isabel dos Santos has her assets in Angola frozen after a court order earlier this week.
Her father, Ex-president Jose Eduardo dos Santos had been the president of Angola for almost four decades until a take over by the current president Joao Lourenco.
(Angolan Ex-president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos)
Since President Joao Lourenco took over power in 2017, the former first family has been hunted by the state in order to reclaim assets believed to have been stolen by the family.
(Angolan President, Joao Lourenco)
Isabel dos Santos, 46, had amassed a wealth of over $2 billion during her father’s reign, which included stakes in Angola’s biggest telecommunications company Unitel, two of the largest private lenders, Banco de Fomento Angola and Banco BIC, Angolan’s firms ZAP MIDIA, supermarkets, beer factory, and a cable company.
She believes the action by the state is “politically motivated” since the judgment against her is untrue.
A court statement on 23 December last year believed she together with her husband, Sindika Dokolo and Mario Leite da Silva (Chairman of Banco de Fomento Angola) had caused the state losses of $1.7 billion.
“The state through its companies Sodiam (a diamond marketing firm) and Sonangol transferred enormous quantities of foreign currency to companies abroad whose beneficiaries are the defendants, without receiving the agreed return,” the court said.
The current administration which is led by President Lourenco is trying every means possible to erase the influence held by the former first family of the state.
(Isabel dos Santos and her husband)
A situation which led to dos Santos losing her position as the chairperson of Angola state oil company Sonangol and subsequently fled the country in 2018.
Her half brother, Jose Filomeno dos Santos, 41, stood trial early December for alleged corruption and embezzlement of over $1 billion from the sovereign wealth fund.
(Jose Filomeno dos Santos, Isabel’s half brother)
Though Isabel dos Santos believed to be living in Portugal and Britain with the majority of her investment offshore, she believes the move by the state cripples her investment in her home country since she has no access to funds to manage and recapitalize her companies.