Angola: Isabel dos Santos sues President for cancelling new port contract

Angolan businesswoman and daughter of the former President of Angola, Isabel dos Santos has taken the current President, João Lourenço to court for the cancellation of the construction contract of the new port in Barra do Dande, worth US$1.5 billion (€1.282 million), Portuguese newspaper Expresso reported on Friday

Luanda – According to Expresso, which cites, “a former employee of the former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos,” father of Isabel dos Santos, the businesswoman’s “interests have been affected,” and it was “predictable that she wouldn’t keep her arms crossed.”

Isabel dos Santos, who was granted the concession to build the port when her father was in office, has filed a civil suit against João Lourenço, the Angolan presidency since September 2017.

On 29 June of this year, Lourenço revoked the order signed on September 20, 2017 by Eduardo dos Santos, approving the Barra do Dande port project, a construction project awarded after the general elections in August last year.

Eduardo dos Santos’ order was published on 20 September, six days before Lourenço took office as the new head of state of Angola.

In the order revoking the decision, Lourenço explained the move was made, “because it did not meet the legal requirements set out in Law No. 9/16, of 16 June, for Public Contracts.”

On 8 June Lusa reported the Angolan government was shelving the construction of the Porto of Barra do Dande.

The decision to cancel the contract was made after the authorities concluded that they had been induced by Isabel dos Santos “to commit illegal and illicit acts” through “a company set up a mere three months before.”

Atlantic Ventures was the vehicle the businesswoman used for the project, but the authorities said its was “merely the intermediary created specifically for the concession.”

On 27 July Isabel dos Santos insisted the tender process for construction of the Port of Barra do Dande was transaprent and it was important to “make it clear” that everything was carried out “in line with current law” in Angola, and that all procedures were followed.