Ex-Angolan president’s daughter flees country, now in London

LUANDA, Angola – One of former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ daughters, a serving lawmaker for the ruling party, has claimed she was forced to “flee” the country after being intimidated.

“I received threats from the head of the parliamentary group and the secret service,” said Welwitschia “Tchize” dos Santos in an audio note sent to local media on Thursday.

“I fled after they kidnapped a lawmaker from a plane” in January, she added.

Manuel Antonio Rabelais, a former minister and lawmaker in the ruling MPLA (People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola), was stopped leaving the country as he boarded a flight to Lisbon over corruption allegations.

On Thursday the MPLA proposed suspending Welwitschia from parliament after “a 90 day absence from the country”, according to a letter from the party caucus to the speaker.

Welwitschia is a fierce critic of his father’s successor, President Joao Lourenco, and accuses the MPLA of seeking to undermine her.

During his presidential campaign Lourenco, a former defence minister, vowed to distance himself from dos Santos.

Welwitschia is currently in Britain along with her half-sister Isabel dos Santos, also daughter of former president dos Santos, and Africa’s richest woman.

Isabel has ignored numerous summonses from Angolan investigators probing suspect payments made when she was boss of state oil giant Sonangol.

She could now face arrest by returning to Angola.

Her brother Jose Filomeno dos Santos, former head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, is forbidden from leaving Angola and spent six months on remand over alleged corruption.

Jose Eduardo dos Santos ruled Angola for 38 years until 2017.

Within three months of taking control of Angola, Lourenco sacked Isabel as head of the state-run oil company and set about dismantling the empire built by Dos Santos.

Most of the dos Santos family are now abroad and the former president, 76, is receiving medical treatment in Spain, according to Luanda.

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