Home Business Profiles Africa’s Richest Woman, Isabel dos Santos, Has Had a difficult 2020
Profiles - December 8, 2020

Africa’s Richest Woman, Isabel dos Santos, Has Had a difficult 2020

2020 has so far been a really bad year for Africa’s so called richest woman – Isabel dos Santos. Just this past October, her Congolese and art collector husband, Sindika Dokolo, tragically died during a scuba-diving accident in Dubai. Apparently, this was a major loss for dos Santos, who got married to Dokolo in 2002. But then again, her husband’s death was not the only unfortunate incident that has affected the richest woman in Africa this year.

A series of unfortunate events

Isabel’s woes started in late December 2019 when state prosecutors in Angola obtained a court order from the Luanda Provincial Court to freeze her bank accounts and seize assets belonging to her in Banco de Fomento and Unitel. This development followed earlier attempts by Angolan prosecutors, all of whom had been trying since 2018 to prosecute the woman. They accused her of embezzling over $1 billion from two state-owned corporations (Sodiam and Sonangol), during the time that her father – Jose Eduardo, was still the President of the oil-rich Central African nation. 


Meanwhile, following the freezing of her account and seizure of her assets, the billionaire cried out and accused the Angolan Government of “witch-hunting” her. She also fled the country, initially to Portugal but later to Dubai, citing safety concerns in light of what was happening.

Later on in January 2020, Isabel’s corruption case finally went to court. She was charged with money laundering and mismanagement of public assets. BBC reported that she allegedly worked with four other accomplices to embezzle money from Sonangol after her father had controversially appointed her to head the company in 2016…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Read the rest of this article on Joomag. It’s on page 25 of our 50 Most Influential Women in Business edition. Follow this link.

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