Chad starts 'repaying Angola’s $100m debt with cattle'

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

Angola has received 75,000 head of cattle sent by Chad as part of the repayment of a 2017 $100m (£82m) debt.

More than 1,000 cows were delivered to the Ministry of Agriculture.

State-run Jornal de Angola newspaper said the vessel that transported the cattle would return to Angola's capital, Luanda, in five days carrying another batch.

Some 4,500 head of cattle were expected to arrive in Luanda in the course of this month, it said.

Call for Dos Santos whistleblower to be freed

Whistleblower Rui Pinto (R)
Rui Pinto is facing 90 criminal charges including computer fraud

More than 100 journalists and other public figures in Europe have called for the release of Rui Pinto, the source behind leaked documents which showed how Africa's richest woman made her fortune, from pre-trial detention.

Mr Pinto, the author of the Football Leaks website, is being held on remand in Portugal since his extradition from Hungary a year ago.

He leaked documents that alleged Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of a former president of Angola, was able to enrich herself through corruption. The documents are also known as the "Luanda Leaks".

Ms Dos Santos has denied the allegations.

Mr Pinto, a Portuguese national, awaits trial on charges relating to the computer hacking of sports companies, a Lisbon law firm and the office of Portugal's attorney-general.

Leading journalists from across Europe and former ministers and sports professionals have signed a document calling for him to be freed.

They argue that a long pre-trial detention, four years after the events in question, is unprecedented in Portugal. They also cite the "unequivocal public interest" of the information he released.

While Mr Pinto must answer to the charges, he should for now be freed, they say.

Ms Dos Santos is already under criminal investigation by the authorities in Angola for corruption and her assets in the country have been frozen.

Pompeo hails Angola's anti-corruption fight

BBC World Service

Angola President, João Lourenço (R) meets with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo
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President João Lourenço (R) with the US Secretary of State on his first official tour to Africa

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on a visit to Angola, has said that one of the things that most surprised him as he travelled around the world was the level of corruption.

But he praised President João Lourenço's efforts to combat financial crime, saying the damage it had caused to Angola was pretty clear.

Relatives of Angola's previous president - notably his daughter Isabel dos Santos - are currently facing investigations over their wealth. They have denied allegations of corruption.l

On his first tour of Africa, Mr Pompeo is keen to promote American investment and counter China's influence on the continent while calming concerns over planned US troop reductions.

His next stop is Ethiopia in the tour of three African countries. He first visited Senegal.

Africa's richest woman plans to sue Angolan government

Isabel dos Santos
Isabel dos Santos told BBC she was considering running for presidency

Africa's richest woman, Isabel dos Santos, has denied fraud and plans to sue the Angolan government.

Ms Dos Santos in a statement on Thursday said the accusations made by Attorney General Helder Pitta Gros on Wednesday were false and politically motivated.

Mr Gros said that Ms Dos Santos was being provisionally charged with "money laundering, influence peddling, harmful management... [and] forgery of documents, among other economic crimes".

Ms Dos Santos, who was considering running for presidency, said the accusations were political.

"The allegations which have been made against me over the last few days are extremely misleading and untrue. This is a very concentrated, orchestrated and well-coordinated political attack, ahead of elections in Angola next year. It is an attempt to neutralise me and to discredit the legacy of President Dos Santos and his family," she wrote.

Leaked documents showed how Ms Dos Santos got access to lucrative land, oil, diamond and telecoms deals when her father, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, was president.

"Stolen documents have been leaked selectively to give a false impression of my business activities. I am a private businesswoman who has spent 20 years building successful companies from the ground up, creating over 20,000 jobs and generating huge tax revenue for Angola. Last year my businesses paid over $100m in tax. I have always operated within the law and all my commercial transactions have been approved by lawyers, banks, auditors and regulators," she wrote.

A banker, Nuno Ribeiro da Cunha, who was named as a suspect was found dead in his house in Lisbon, Portugal.

He managed the account of oil firm Sonangol, formerly chaired by Ms Dos Santos, at the small Portuguese lender EuroBic.

Mr Da Cunha was found dead at one of his properties in Lisbon. A police source told Portuguese media that "everything points to suicide".