Angola oil giant probes Isabel dos Santos graft claims

Angola’s state oil company has announced an investigation into “possible misappropriation” of funds by Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of the former president, during her time as the company’s chief executive.

In recent weeks, several Angolan media outfits have accused dos Santos of ordering suspect transfers and payments worth tens of millions of dollars.

Appointed head of Sonangol by her father Jose Eduardo dos Santos in 2016, dos Santos was replaced last month by Angola’s new president Joao Lourenco.

Isabel has flatly denied any misconduct.

“We have established an internal commission of inquiry to investigate the information published,” Sonangol spokesman Mateus Benza said on Tuesday.


“We are verifying possible misappropriation, but I can’t yet confirm anything.”

According to the Novo Jornal and the Jornal Economico, the new leadership at Sonangol had identified a suspect transfer of $67-million to Dubai.

Investigators are also probing a monthly payment that began when Isabel became the head of the state oil giant of almost $12-million to a Portuguese company in which she was the principal investor.

READ MORE: Dos Santos’s retirement fund – his kids

It was reported that the new head of Sonangol has written to his predecessor to demand explanations as well as alerting law enforcement agencies.

Prosecutors in the capital Luanda told AFP on Tuesday evening that they had not received a formal complaint.

Dos Santos has hit back alleging a “campaign of defamation”.

“This fake news … doesn’t deserve any credibility since their only goal is to cast doubt on the integrity of Isabel dos Santos,” she said in a tweet.

Dos Santos is reported by Forbes to be the richest woman in Africa and became a symbol of nepotism under the protection of her father.

READ MORE: The exit of Africa’s richest woman could revitalise Angola’s cash cow

Jose Eduardo dos Santos stepped down as president following elections in August after 38 years in power defined by the transfer of wealth to those close to the regime.

His successor has promised to fight against corruption and recently dismissed several leaders of state-run companies who were seen as close to the former president.

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse works from worldwide. AFP Photo's official Twitter account. Tweeting news and features from Agence France-Presse's global photo network Agence France Presse has over 120540 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

Advertising
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday