Angolan ex-president’s son on trial for corruption

Source BBC

The son of Angola’s former president has gone on trial for corruption.

Jose Filomeno dos Santos and his co-accused, former central bank governor Valter Filipe, helped spirit $0.5bn (£0.4bn) out of the country during his time as head of Angola’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, prosecutors say.

They have pleaded not guilty.

The case is being seen as a test of the country’s commitment to undoing the corruption that flourished during the four-decade rule of former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Two years ago, his son, better known as Zenu, was untouchable – a member of the all-powerful Dos Santos family whose influence seemed to reach into every corner of Angola.

So, his trial in the capital, Luanda, is an extraordinary moment for a famously corrupt, impoverished and oil-rich country.

In 2017, Jose Eduardo dos Santos stepped down after 38 years in power.

But his successor, Joao Lourenco, from the same governing party, abruptly turned against the Dos Santos clan and promised reforms and a clean-up.

Across Africa, ageing liberation parties are busy trying to reinvent themselves – pushing out old leaders, vowing to modernise, determined to hold on to power. So far, the results have been, at best, mixed.

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