Angola’s Isabel dos Santos cries ‘witch hunt’ as assets frozen

World

Angola’s Isabel dos Santos cries ‘witch hunt’ as assets frozen

Africa's richest woman who’s becoming pariah at home says crackdown is aimed at her father’s influence

Noah Browning and Dmitry Zhdannikov

Angolan billionaire and former first daughter Isabel dos Santos decried a New Year’s Eve court order to freeze her vast assets as a “witch hunt” engineered to weaken her father’s influence and distract from economic failures.

Dos Santos, named Africa’s richest woman by Forbes with a fortune estimated at more than $2bn (R28bn), is a highly divisive figure in Angola, where she is nicknamed “the Princess”. Supporters see an inspirational entrepreneur while detractors say she embodies the kind of nepotism and corruption that has hamstrung the continent.

Since President Joao Lourenco succeeded Dos Santos’s father José Eduardo in 2017, after a nearly four-decade grip on power, he has cracked down on the role of his predecessor’s children in state enterprises. He fired Dos Santos from her job chairing oil firm Sonangol and her brother from the sovereign wealth fund...

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