Jose Filomeno Dos Santos has been remanded in custody in a $1.5bn corruption case, a state prosecutor said. He is the son of former Angolan president Jose Eduardo Dos Santos who ruled the country for almost 4 decades.
After stepping down, Dos Santos gave top positions in the government and economy to many of his cronies, including his daughter who got control of the country’s oil giant.
Dos Santos also chose a successor from within his own party, Joao Lourenco, his former Minister of Defense to succeed him as president. This was done to allow for a smooth and peaceful transition.
Other of his supporters were also chosen to head strategic security offices.
Lourenco however, has begun to dismantle his predecessor’s empire upon his election as president.
Lourenco removed Dos Santos’ daughter, Isabel as head of oil giant Sonangol and fired ‘zenu’ from the leadership of the sovereign wealth fund’
A misappropriation of public funds charge was brought on Filimeno this March as part of his promise to ‘reboot the economy.’ Filimeno was remanded in custody as part of a ‘preventive detention measure’ as revealed by Prosecutor-General Álvaro Da Silva in a statement made on Monday, Sept 24, 2018.
This is due to ‘the complexity and seriousness of the deeds and in order to guarantee an effective enquiry.’
The moves have been applauded by the man opposition party of the country, Unita, commending the president for ‘honouring his promises’
‘Angola must become a normal country… and a democratic state,’ Unita spokesman Alcides Sakala told AFP news agency.
A senior official and member of the supreme decision-making body of the ruling MPLA, Joao Pinto, said: ‘If mistakes have been made, it is up to the courts to judge and, if necessary, to punish’ any culprits.
The new administration has embarked on a cleansing campaign, removing a great deal of the supporters of his predecessor, Dos Santos. The whole effort is explained as an initiative to revitalize Angola’s ailing economy.
Angola struggles with high unemployment and slow growth despite being Africa’s second-biggest oil producer.