President's son lands strategic appointment By ARNALDO VIEIRA in Luanda | Tuesday, June 25   2013 at  11:43

Presidential son José Filomeno de Sousa dos Santos will chair Angola's strategic $5 billion sovereign wealth fund. 

The appointment of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos' son to a plum public job has been heavily criticised by opposition parties, who fear it is a move to place him at pole opposition in Angola's political succession.

Last Friday, the President appointed his son José Filomeno dos Santos to head the strategic $5 billion Angolan investment sovereign fund, created in October 2012.

The fund was designed to protect the southern Africa country from frequent oil price fluctuations and lessening the state's dependence on crude revenues.

“With this appointment, the government is tainted,” political analyst Celso Malavoloneke told the Voice of America radio last Friday.

“Jose Eduardo is running his government like a personal, privately-owned investment holding company,” he added.

Currently, the president’s cousin serves as the country’s vice- president, and his daughter, Isabel dos Santos, is arguably the wealthiest woman in the country.

According to Forbes magazine, the Dos Santos family controls a huge chunk of Angola’s economy.

Mr Alcides Sakala, spokesman of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the country’s main opposition party, criticised the president, likening President dos Santos to other African leaders who were creating quasi-monarchies by passing the leadership baton to their relations.

Another opposition leader, Mr Lindo Bernardo Tito, also rounded on the President for adopting what he said was a government model based on family relationships.“We are watching what happens in this monarchy,” he warned.

President dos Santos is Africa's second longest serving ruler. He has been in power for three decades and last year won a new term in office

In a televised interview with Portugal's SIC channel last month, the 70-year-old leader said he was looking for someone to succeed him.