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Angola jails former minister over corruption

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OSVALDO SILVA/AFP or licensors


Former Angolan minister Manuel Rabelais was sentenced Monday to 14 years in prison on corruption charges, becoming the second ex-minister put behind bars since Joao Lourenço took power in 2017.

The Angolan president succeeded Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who had held onto power for 38 years. Shortly after his election, Lourenço launched a massive anti-corruption campaign against those close to his predecessor, including his children.

President Dos Santos had appointed close friends and family members to key positions during his corruption-ridden reign.

Manuel Rabelais, a former communications minister under the previous regime, was arrested in October 2020 and convicted by the Luanda Supreme Court of money laundering and misappropriation of public funds.

Via a marketing company he ran, he was found guilty of embezzling 98 million euros between 2016 and 2017.

Former Transport Minister Augusto da Silva Tomas had been sentenced in 2019 to 14 years in prison for corruption.

Promising to root out widespread theft of public money and turn around the economy of Africa's second-largest oil producer, Joao Lourenço sacked several former government officials, including Isabel Dos Santos, the daughter of President Dos Santos, who headed the national oil company Sonangol.

In August, José Filomeno dos Santos, the former president's son, was also sentenced to five years in prison for embezzling money from Angola's sovereign wealth fund, which he oversaw from 2013 to 2018.