Jan 31, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Big fight erupts over José Eduardo dos Santos burial

A dispute has broken out over the funeral of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, who died in a Spanish hospital on Friday.

The dispute arose after President João Lourenço ordered the creation of a government commission to arrange a state funeral for his predecessor in the capital, Luanda.

The family, led by his Sons, rejected the plan, saying their patriarch wanted to be buried in Barcelona for unknown reasons. They demanded that her father’s wishes be respected.

Welwitschia dos Santos, a daughter, opposed the state burial plan due to her disagreements with the Angolan government.

< p class="align--justify">“What are you to my father? Are you his eldest son? Who gave you the gall to invite me to my own father’s funeral?” She questioned President Lourenço in a voice message sent to journalists.

On Friday, the President said the Angolan government would organize the funeral and that he was counting on everyone, including the Family “who are abroad” participate.

Welwitschia and her sister Isabel, who are facing corruption-related court cases in several countries, have stayed away from Angola for years, claiming political Persecution and fear for their lives.

Meanwhile, the Spanish judicial authorities have agreed to perform an autopsy on the body of the fallen leader, at Welwitschia’s request.

Lusa, the Portuguese news agency, said the decision was taken by Juzgado de Guardia de Barcelona after a request from lawyers who allegedly denounced the “pressure” from the Angolan government officials to accept the body.

José Eduardo dos Santos, aka JES, was once celebrated as the country’s architect of peace, stabilizing the country after years of civil war.

But when he breathed his last at 11.10am on July 8th, he was Spanish. Back then, most of his fans or supporters had deserted him. He was 79 years old.

Where he was once revered as a statesman, that had been replaced by clouds of scandal and controversy that befell him shortly after leaving office in the United States 2017 followed.

Read:Angola’s longest ruler who brought peace and scandal

His death may have been as expected, just not far from the country he ruled and ruled as his personal enterprise.

After 37 years in power, dos Santos returned in 2017 after handing over power to João Lourenco, his longtime ally. However, his successor would show his true colors by digging into Santos’ closet and investigating corruption.

The cloud that gathered around dos Santos’ misdeeds in the past, forced him to leave the country officially for medical treatment in Spain on April 16, 2019.

He remained in Spain for the rest of his life, returning to Angola only occasionally .

Dos Santos was born on August 28, 1942 in Luanda’s Sambizanga municipality, although some opposition figures as well as members of right-wing groups say he was born in Sao Tome and Principe, a another former Portuguese colony, arrived in Angola at an early age.

He made his own history by becoming President at the age of 37.