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With Angola ex-leader critically ill in Spain, family cries foul

By AFP
Angola Jose Eduardo dos Santos is being treated at the Teknon medical centre in Barcelona.  By Pau BARRENA AFPFile
JUL 5, 2022 LISTEN
Jose Eduardo dos Santos is being treated at the Teknon medical centre in Barcelona. By Pau BARRENA (AFP/File)

With former Angola president Jose Eduardo dos Santos critically ill at a Barcelona hospital, one of his daughters has filed a case against his wife and personal physician for attempted murder, police and her lawyers said Tuesday.

The 79-year-old was rushed to hospital and placed in intensive care after suffering a cardiac arrest on June 23, his family said, describing his condition as "critical".

But on Monday, his daughter Tchize Dos Santos filed suit with the Catalan regional police, alleging her father's condition was the result of attempted murder.

"Tchize dos Santos, daughter of former Angolan president Eduardo dos Santos, who is hospitalised at the Teknon clinic in Barcelona in an induced coma, has filed a complaint with the Mossos d'Esquadra for the investigation of an alleged offence of attempted murder," the two law firms advising her said.

According to the complaint, she believes her father's current wife, Ana Paula, and his personal physician are responsible for the current deterioration in his health, one of her lawyers said.

The daughter, whose full name is Welwitschia dos Santos, said her father and his wife had been separated for some time, meaning she did not have the right to make decisions about his health, the lawyer said.

The 44-year-old also claimed the wife had not provided legal proof of their marriage to the Spanish authorities.

Contacted by AFP, police confirmed receiving a complaint related to the former Angolan leader's state of health and said they had opened an inquiry, without giving further details.

In order to protect her father, his daughter requested that only his children be allowed to visit him and also asked the Spanish authorities to ensure his protection and that of his children, most of whom have moved abroad due to friction with the current president, Joao Lourenco.

Dos Santos ruled the Portuguese-speaking, oil-rich state of Angola for 38 years until stepping down in September 2017.

Born in the slums of Luanda, he was one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, using his nation's oil wealth to turn one of his children into a billionaire while leaving his people among the poorest on the planet.

When he stepped down, dos Santos handed over to former defence minister Lourenco whom he handpicked to replace him.

But Lourenco quickly turned on his erstwhile patron, starting an anti-corruption drive to recoup the billions he suspected had been embezzled under dos Santos.

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