Monday, August 8

Former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos dies in Barcelona

The Government of Angola has confirmed this Friday the death of former President José Eduardo dos Santos, who had been hospitalized in Barcelona (Spain) and connected to life support since the end of June.

The Angolan Executive has announced the news with a message on its social networks, indicating that Dos Santos’ death occurred at 11:10 local time (9:10 GMT) in the clinic where he was admitted.

“The Government of Angola informs national and international public opinion, with a feeling of great pain and consternation, the death of His Excellency the former President of the Republic, engineer José Eduardo dos Santos,” the statement said.

“The Executive of the Republic of Angola bows, with the greatest respect and consideration, to the figure of a statesman of great historical dimension, who governed the destiny of the Angolan nation for many years with clairvoyance and humanism,” the message added.

The Angolan government, currently led by João Lourenço, also sent its condolences to the family and appealed “for everyone’s serenity” in these moments of “pain and consternation”.

Dos Santos ruled Angola with an iron fist between 1979 and 2017 and was one of the African leaders who remained in power for the longest time. His government was marked by high levels of corruption and nepotism.

The former president had been admitted to a clinic in Barcelona – the city where he had lived since 2019 – at the end of June and was in an induced coma, connected to life support, after having suffered respiratory arrest.

Since then, strong disagreements had arisen within his family about the steps to follow and one of his daughters even filed a complaint in Barcelona on Monday for a possible crime of attempted murder, omission of the duty of assistance, injuries by serious imprudence and revelation of secrets by those around them.

Part of the family suspects that the 79-year-old former Angolan president may have been the victim of a conspiracy to try to kill him to prevent him from giving his support to the opposition in the Angolan elections next August.

Dos Santos stepped down from power in 2017, after having given up running for a new presidential term in Angola.

Joâo Lourenço succeeded him in office after winning elections for his same party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which has ruled the nation since its independence from Portugal in 1975.