“Angola has frozen the assets of the billionaire Isabel dos Santos, daughter of the country’s former leader, in a move, indicating that incumbent President João Lourenço is aiming at tougher stance against the former first family.
“Since closing the chapter of José Eduardo dos Santos’ nearly 40-year grip on power in 2017, President Lourenço has been trying to neutralise the influence of his predecessor and reform sub-Saharan third-largest economy. Nowadays Lourenço is under increasing pressure while Angola economy continues delcine.
“Isabel dos Santos stated that the asset freeze was “politically motivated” and that the case against her had been held in total secrecy.
The judgment contains statements which are completely untrue,” she said in a statement. She later told Reuters new agency by phone that she had never been summoned or questioned by an Angolan court or prosecutors.
Considered to be “Africa’s wealthiest woman”, Isabel dos Santos amassed a fortune estimated at more than $2 billion through stakes in Angolan companies including banks and the telecoms firm Unitel, earning her the nickname “the Princess”.
She chaired the state oil company Sonangol before being sacked by Lourenço months after he came to power.