Former President of Angola, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos is dead. He died on Friday at a hospital in Barcelona, Spain, after suffering cardiac arrest, the government of Angola said.
Dos Santos, who ruled Angola with an iron fist for 38 years, died at 11:10 am (1010 GMT). He was 79.
In a statement on Facebook, the government said the announcement of Dos Santos’s death was “with great pain and consternation.”
“(The government) presents its deepest feelings of sorrow to the bereaved family,” the statement added, describing the former leader as a “statesman of great historical stature” who led the country through very difficult times.
Angolan incumbent President Joao Lourenco, who is seeking re-election in August, has declared five days of national mourning, starting on Saturday. He equally set up a government commission to organise funerals.
A presidential decree ordered flags to be flown at half-staff and the cancellation of “all shows and political demonstrations”.
Meanwhile, one of Dos Santos’ daughters is suspecting foul play and has demanded that an autopsy be carried out on the body of the late father.
Recall that while the former president was lying in hospital earlier this week, Tchize Dos Santos filed suit with the Catalan regional police, claiming that her father’s illness was a result of attempted murder.
The complaint said she believed her father’s wife, Ana Paula, and his personal physician were responsible for the deterioration in his health, one of her lawyers said.
Dos Santos stepped down in September 2017 after 38 years at the helm of the Portuguese-speaking, oil-rich state of Angola.
He was hospitalised in Spain and placed in intensive care after suffering a cardiac arrest on June 23.