A plane with the body of José Eduardo dos Santos landed in Luanda on Saturday night. The former Angolan president, who was in power for 38 years, died last month in Barcelona where he lived since 2019 and was treated.
The arrival in Angola of the remains of José Eduardo dos Santos puts an end to a dispute that lasted since the 8th of July. The body was handed over to his widow, Ana Paula dos Santos, after a legal battle in the Spanish courts between two sides of the family. The older children, namely Tchizé, Corean Du and Isabel dos Santos, were opposed to the body being handed over to the widow and the repatriation of the former president's remains before the elections on the 24th.
Some Angolans gathered around the airport in the capital Luanda to celebrate the repatriation of the former president. "Angola is a country that has lived through a period of great turbulence, and he is a leader who has worked for the pacification of the country.", reacted Simão Matilde, a civil servant.
"We were very sad to lose José Eduardo dos Santos. We are all eduardistas, our parents and husbands were from the F APLA (Popular Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola 1975-1991) and all of them were in these forces, in Luanda and north of Luanda.", said Leonor dos Santos Cruz Paim, TAAG Economist. Claudio Neves, a high school student also paid tribute to "the president who gave independence, freedom to the country".
The urn was then taken to the former president's official residence in Luanda, where it will remain until the funeral, for which the date remains undetermined. August 28, José Eduardo dos Santos's birthday, was suggested as a possibility.