Continental Focus, International Reach

Isabel dos Santos Denies Illegal Activities

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Isabel dos Santos, former chairwoman of Angola’s state firm Sonangol and daughter of the country’s once long-term president José Eduardo dos Santos, has told local news outlet Novo Jornal that she “did nothing wrong,” as relates to charges of corruption.

On October 18 Novo Jornal reported that Angolan prosecutors began a criminal investigation that would look into the transfer of $38 million from Sonangol, allegedly authorized by Dos Santos. Carlos Saturnino, who took the chair position after her dismissal, accused dos Santos of authorizing a transfer to a Dubai company days after she was dismissed as chair.

“To say there was a transfer order after my dismissal is simply false,” dos Santos said in a statement e-mailed on Monday. “The fight against corruption can’t be used to feed an agenda of persecution or a witch hunt.”

According the former chairwoman, the fund-transfer was made while she was still in her position at Sonangol on November 15, 2017, the day she was dismissed and before a new board was appointed the next day. She said payment instructions were ordered a day or two prior to her dismissal.