June 12, 2024

Africa’s richest woman Isabel dos Santos’ assets frozen by Angola

He is said to be trying to erase the influence of his predecessor and reform Angola, sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest economy.

In her first reaction since the assets freeze was announced, Ms. dos Santos said the asset freeze ordered by a court was “politically motivated”, adding that the case against her had been held in total secrecy.

“The judgment contains statements which are completely untrue,” she said in a statement.

“It would have been easy to dismantle them in an open court.”

She said she would use “all the instruments of Angolan and international law” to fight the court order.

The assets freeze comes even as the ex-president’s son, José Filomeno de Sousa, faces corruption charges as well. He is accused of helping transfer $500 million from the sovereign wealth fund.

The New York Times noted that Ms. dos Santos, called “Africa’s wealthiest woman”, has amassed “a fortune estimated at more than $2 billion through stakes in Angolan companies including banks and the telecom firm Unitel, earning her the nickname “the Princess.””

She chaired the state oil company Sonangol before being sacked by Mr. Lourenço months after he came to power.

The Times added that “a court document dated Dec. 23 said the government believed Ms. dos Santos, her husband Sindika Dokolo and Mário Leite da Silva, chairman of Banco de Fomento Angola had caused the state losses of more than $1 billion”.

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