Ex-Angola leader died of ‘natural causes’: preliminary autopsy results
Angola’s former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos died of “natural causes”, according to preliminary results of an autopsy carried out in Spain at the request of one of his daughters, a source close to the matter told AFP.
ngola’s former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos died of “natural causes”, according to preliminary results of an autopsy carried out in Spain at the request of one of his daughters, a source close to the matter told AFP.
Dos Santos, who ruled the oil-rich African nation with an iron first between 1979 and 2017, died on Friday at a hospital in Barcelona, where he had lived since April 2019.
The 79-year-old had been taken to the hospital and placed in intensive care after suffering a cardiac arrest on June 23.
One of his daughters, Welwitschia dos Santos, called for the autopsy, alleging his death had occurred under “suspicious circumstances”.
But the preliminary results of the autopsy indicate dos Santos died of “natural causes”, with problems of “heart failure” and a “pulmonary infection”, said the source, who did not wish to be named.
Further tests still have to be carried out, the source added.
Contacted by AFP, a spokeswoman for the Barcelona court that approved the autopsy confirmed that the preliminary results were ready but declined to give further details.
– Legal action –
Welwitschia dos Santos — who is popularly known as Tchize — has filed a legal case in Spain against her father’s widow, Ana Paula, and his personal physician for “attempted murder”.
The complaint also includes allegations relating to “failure to exercise a duty of care, injury resulting from gross negligence and disclosure of secrets by people close to him”, her lawyers said in a statement Friday.
Tchize claimed her father and his wife — a former flight attendant 21 years his junior — had been separated for some time. This meant that his spouse had no right to make decisions about his health, she argued.
Her father’s health had “seriously deteriorated” after Ana Paula arrived in Barcelona and moved into her father’s home in the Spanish city, she alleged.
Tchize also argues her father wanted to be buried privately in Spain and not in Angola in a state funeral “which could favour the current government” in the former Portuguese colony.
When he stepped down in 2017, dos Santos handed over to former defence minister Joao Lourenco whom he had handpicked to succeed him.
But Lourenco quickly turned on his erstwhile patron, unleashing an anti-corruption drive to recoup the billions he suspected had been embezzled under dos Santos, a campaign that has targeted the former president’s family.