The former Angolan Head of State José Eduardo dos Santos died on Friday 08 July 2022 at the age of 79. He passed away in the Barcelona clinic where he had been hospitalised since a heart attack on 23 June 2022.
José Eduardo dos Santos, the former president of Angola, ends his stay on this earth. The man with a long political career died on Friday 08 July 2022 after a short stay in hospital in Spain. The announcement was made by the government in a note of great pain and consternation on its Facebook page. The same message reported that the death of the former Angolan leader occurred late this morning. After several years of struggle, José Eduardo dos Santos was struck down by illness.
A life predestined for elevation
Far from his reputation and financial power, José Eduardo dos Santos was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. The man who single-handedly built an entire empire grew up in Sanbizanga, a slum in the capital Luanda. He is the son of Avelino, a bricklayer and Jacinta. An activist against the Portuguese colonists, José Eduardo joined the MPL, a clandestine organisation, in 1961 at the age of 19. He later joined the armed struggle. His skills are recognised and he is appointed vice-president of the MPL youth. José Eduardo’s meteoric rise has earned him the nickname ‘Zedu’. Already at independence in 1975, José Eduardo was on the central committee of the MPLA. He later joined the government and became Prime Minister under President Agostinho Neto. When he died in 1979, José Eduardo dos Santos became president.
The heirs of the almighty father
Former President José Eduardo dos Santos is the father of two children. His daughter Isabel, the wealthiest African woman, is a key player in the oil and diamond sectors. She has been at the centre of several financial malpractices and especially accused of corruption and money laundering. The son José Filomeno is in charge of the sovereign wealth fund.
For the record, José Eduardo dos Santos ruled Angola with an iron fist for 37 years before handing over to his godson João Lourenço in 2017.