A daughter of Angola’s former president José Eduardo dos Santos is demanding an autopsy after the death of her father on Friday in Barcelona. Welwitschia dos Santos, 44, said the hospital should retain his body for a postmortem, alleging foul play.
Welwitschia dos Santos “has requested… that the Teknon medical centre hold onto the body.. until an appropriate autopsy is carried out on fears it could be transferred to Angola,” her lawyers said in a statement cited by AFP.
Dos Santos, who ruled oil-rich former Portuguese colony Angola for almost 40 years before stepping down in 2017, died at the Teknon clinic in the Spanish city after a prolonged illness, according to the Angolan presidency.
He was 79. His family said he was rushed to the hospital and placed in intensive care after suffering a cardiac arrest on June 23. But Welwitschia dos Santos on Monday filed a legal case against the former president’s current wife Ana Paula and personal physician for attempted murder.
Her lawyers said in a statement on Friday that the complaint included allegations relating to “attempted murder, failure to exercise a duty of care, injury resulting from gross negligence and disclosure of secrets by people close to him”.
Welwitschia dos Santos has accused Paula and dos Santos’ personal physician of being the cause of the deterioration in his health. She claimed that her father and his wife had not been together for a while and so she had no right to make decisions about his health.
Police said they had opened an inquiry. For 38 years, dos Santos was Angola’s leader. Through the various degrees of difficulties the countries had to endure, dos Santos maintained his strong hold on power. But after handing over power in 2017 to João Lourenço who was dos Santos’ former defense minister, the former Angolan president and his family have been on the defensive about his time in office.
Lourenço’s government started prosecuting the allegations of corruption leveled against dos Santos and his family. Some said that Lourenço set his political guns blazing with one eye on Isabel dos Santos, a daughter of dos Santos who was once Africa’s richest woman.