Dos Santos denies Sonangol graft

LUANDA, March 6, 2018 – Isabel dos Santos, former head of Angolan NOC Sonangol, denied accusations by her replacement of illegitimate payments in a series of tweets on Monday. 

Dos Santos took to Twitter to counter the claims made by current Sonangol head Carlos Saturnino at the NOC’s annual press conference. She denied signing a payment order after she had been removed from her post and said she had reduced the fees paid to consultancies. She also said she hadn’t favoured banks in which she holds stakes.

“There are no payment orders dated 16th of November signed by me @Sonangol #lies #falsealegations #slander by Carlos Saturnino #falarverdade,” she tweeted.


In an interview with Portuguese financial newspaper Jornal de Negocios the same day, she called Saturnino a liar and said there was a political campaign against the previous government.

Saturnino had said the preliminary results of an audit showed that USD 135 million had gone to consulting firms between May 2016 and November 2017, when Dos Santos was running Sonangol. The audit of the NOC began in December 2017 and has not been completed.

Saturnino also said Dos Santos had authorised a USD 38-million transfer to a company in Dubai four days after her dismissal from the NOC. “How can people who had been dismissed by the government still carry out transfers? It absolutely cannot be an act of good faith,” he said.

The Office of the Attorney General has ordered an investigation into the allegations, Jornal de Angola reported Friday.

Angolan President João Lourenço removed Dos Santos from her post as head of Sonangol in November 2017. She had been appointed as head of Sonangol by her father, then President José Eduardo dos Santos, in June 2016, after the company’s board was sacked by presidential decree.

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