JOHANNESBURG / WASHINGTON - Angola's president, Joao Lourenco, quickly earned an impressive nickname after he swept into office in 2017 and launched an anti-corruption drive after 38 years of cronyism under former leader Jose Eduardo Dos Santos.
They call him "The Terminator."
And the president has grown into his nickname. Last month, Angola's government froze the assets of billionaire entrepreneur Isabel Dos Santos, the former president's eldest daughter and former head of the state-run oil company.
But increasingly, Lourenco's anti-corruption efforts appear to target Dos Santos' family members. Isabel's brother is on trial for his alleged role in embezzlement and money laundering during his tenure as head of the nation's sovereign wealth fund.
That, along with the government's reluctance to prosecute the former vice president, a top Lourenco ally, is leading critics to ask whether "The Terminator" is actually trying to destroy corruption — or if this is just the same old Angolan drama, with different characters.
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