By EMMANUEL YASHIM
LUANDA- Tchize dos Santos, daughter of former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, will appeal against the Spanish court’s decision to deliver the corpse of her father to his ex-wife Ana Paula dos Santos, her lawyer Carmen Varela said.
“The decision of the instruction judge number 11 of Barcelona to deliver the body of the former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos to his former wife will be subject to appeal by Tchize dos Santos.
“We will file an appeal because we understand that the criminal jurisdiction is not competent to rule on this matter, it should be the civil jurisdiction to rule on it,” Varela said
According to the lawyer, a process is currently underway in the civil court on this issue.
Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled Angola from 1979 to 2017, died on July 8, at the age of 79, in Barcelona, Spain, where he spent most of his time over the past five years.
Apart from Portuguese, he was also fluent in Spanish, French, and Russian.
Dos Santos was praised for the major role he played in favour of the country’s independence and his commitment to the promotion of peace and democracy in the country, through negotiations with opposition movements designed to put a definite end to the country’s civil war.
Two factions of the dos Santos’ family dispute the custody of Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ body in the Family Court of the Civil Court of Catalonia.
On one side are Tchize dos Santos and her older siblings, who oppose the delivery of the remains to the former first lady and are against holding a state funeral before the Aug. 24 elections in Angola to avoid political exploitation.
On the other side, there is the widow Ana Paula dos Santos and her three children with the former president, who also claim the body and want it to be buried in Angola in the near future.
José Eduardo dos Santos married four times, depending on the source. He had at least six children from his wives, and one born out of wedlock.
His first wife was the Russian-born geologist Tatiana Kukanova, whom he met while studying in the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (present-day Azerbaijan).
Dos Santos and Kukanova had one daughter, Isabel dos Santos (born 1973), who was at one time the richest woman in Africa. Their marriage ended in divorce.
His next two marriages also ended in divorce as well. With his second wife, Filomena Sousa, he had one child, Jose Filomeno dos Santos, known as “Zenú” (born 1978), who served as chairman of Fundo Soberano de Angola.
His third wife was Maria Luísa Abrantes Perdigão. Abrantes’ and Dos Santos’ two children were daughter, Welwitschia “Tchize” dos Santos (born 1978), and a son, the Angolan artist Coreon Du (born 1984).
In 1991, Dos Santos married his fourth and final wife, Ana Paula de Lemos, a former flight attendant and model.
José Eduardo and Ana Paula dos Santos had three children: Eduane (born 1991), Joseana (born 1995), and Eduardo (born 1998).
The couple remained married until his death in 2022. (Xinhua/NAN)