Demonstrations against appointment of Angolan president’s daughter banned

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A scheduled demonstration against the appointment of Angolan President’s daughter as the head of the national oil company has been banned by the country’s authorities.

Organizers say they were informed of the ban on Thursday.

“We were informed verbally yesterday morning (Thursday) by the Luanda Provincial Police Commandant, Commissioner José Sita, that the demonstration was banned,” William Tonnet, lawyer and director of the opposition newspaper Folha 8 told AFP.

According to Tonnet, the decision is motivated by a procession to be held the same day and at the same place on “the role of religious women in the consolidation of peace in Angola”.

“This ban is unconstitutional,” Tonnet said, noting that the Angolan authorities had not respected the legal deadline for the cancellation of a demonstration.

Angola’s President José Eduardo dos Santos appointed his eldest daughter Isabel Santos in June to head the national oil company, Sonangol a decision the opposition condemned describing it as “nepotism” and called for its annulment at the Supreme Court.

According to the Communication Minister, Manuel Rabelais, the protest organized by the opposition was aimed at “putting pressure” on justice.

“We must wait calmly for the pronouncement of the Supreme Court,” he said on November 16.

At a rare press conference two weeks ago, Isabel dos Santos defended her appointment as head of Sonangol saying she was chosen based on her business experience.

Forbes named Isabel one of the richest women in Africa with wealth estimated at 3.3 billion dollars.

The 43-year-old businesswoman has 25% shares in the country’s main mobile telecommunication company Unitel as well as the BIC bank.

Her appointment, according to Angola’s state radio, was for her to turn around the struggling company which is facing the brunt of the fall in global oil prices affecting its revenue.

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