Angola’s former President, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos who went into exile in Barcelona since April 2019, has for the first time returned home on Tuesday ahead of the ruling MPLA’s party congress in December and presidential elections next year, the official Angola Press News Agency reported.
After nearly four decades as president of Africa’s second biggest oil producer, Dos Santos stepped down four years ago making him one of the continent’s longest-running rulers.
He was replaced by Joao Lourenco, candidate of the incumbent’s People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) who sought to investigate allegations of corruption during the Dos Santos era, targeting the former leader’s children in seeking to recover billions of dollars that were embezzled.
Last year, a court in Luanda sentenced Dos Santo’s son, Jose Filomeno Dos Santos, former head of Angola’s $5 billion sovereign wealth fund, to five years in prison over a $500 million corruption case.
His daughter, Isabel Dos Santos, who became Africa’s richest woman, has also been targeted by asset freezes and several anti-corruption cases relating to her brief stint as head of state oil company Sonangol from 2016 to 2017, in the last days of her father’s rule. However, she has denied any wrongdoing, saying she is the subject of a political witch hunt by Angola’s new rulers.