The Angolan government rejected allegations by a local website of barring former President José Eduardo dos Santos from travelling out of the country and cutting his benefits.
Dos Santos returned to Angola’s capital Luanda in September last year after being in exile in Barcelona since 2019. The erstwhile president who succeeded António Agostinho Neto in 1979 after he ruled Angola for four years after independence from Portugal in 1975 had initially travelled to Spain in 2019 for a routine medical examination.
The Ministry of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Social Communication in a statement said the information provided by Club-k.net is “false.”
The private news portal had alleged Dos Santos received external help from Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema to help him meet medical costs, including hiring a plane for him.
“President José Eduardo dos Santos, since 2017, has never failed to benefit from the institutional support to which he is entitled under the law, both in the territory and during the, almost, three years he has been away receiving medical care outside the country.”
Expenses for the former president and deputies have been reduced to the equivalent $200,000 per year for payment of staff of their residence, including salaries of their director of office, secretaries, and cooks, among others, the website added.
The former Head of State does not need authorisation from anyone to travel to any part of the world, added the ministry’s statement.
“It is very irresponsible to deal with the intimate life of a former Head of State to the point of claiming that he is suffering from cancer, something that is not known to the Angolan authorities,” the statement added.
Authorities in Angola had targeted the dos Santos family shortly after 38-year reign over claims of stolen public funds.