Angola ex-leader died of natural causes – Autopsy report

Preliminary autopsy results showed the death of Angola’s former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, was due to natural causes, a Spanish court said on Monday while ordering further examination.

Dos Santos died two weeks ago in Barcelona at the age of 79.

The court also decided to delay the handover of his body to his family, a court spokeswoman said on Monday.

“Despite the fact that the provisional autopsy report indicates that Mr dos Santos’ death was natural, the court has decided to order complementary testing to that usually done in an autopsy, given that a complaint about possible threats to this person was previously filed,” she said.

The Carmen Varela family law firm representing dos Santos’ daughter, Tchize dos Santos, said she had asked for a full autopsy due to alleged “suspicious circumstances of his death”, though neither the law firm or the daughter provided evidence of such circumstances.

According to the office of Angolan President, Joao Lourenco, dos Santos, who stepped down five years ago after ruling the country for nearly four decades, died at the Teknon clinic in Barcelona, where he was being treated following a prolonged illness. The clinic declined to comment on the request for an autopsy or the details of his death.

He had been receiving medical treatment since 2019 and Portuguese news agency, Lusa, reported in June he was in intensive care in Barcelona, citing a source close to him, as the Angolan government said the former leader had suffered a deterioration in his health. 

Angola’s former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled Africa’s second-biggest oil producer for nearly four decades, died on Friday, the presidency said.

The 79-year-old died at the Teknon clinic in Barcelona, Spain, where he was being treated following a prolonged illness, according to the statement. 

One of Africa’s longest serving leaders, dos Santos, stepped down five years ago. His rule was marked by a civil war lasting nearly three decades against U.S.-backed UNITA rebels, which he won in 2002, and a subsequent oil-fuelled boom.

His successor, President Joao Lourenco, declared five days of national mourning and described dos Santos as a “unique figure of the Angolan homeland.” -Reuters

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