Angola's dos Santos 'critical' after cardiac arrest

FormerĀ Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Photo credit: File | AFP

Angola's ailing former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos is in a "critical and delicate" condition after suffering a cardiac arrest last week, his family said on Friday.

In its first statement since news broke a week ago about the hospitalisation of the 79-year-old, the family revealed he suffered a "cardiorespiratory arrest" on June 23.

He was taken to a Barcelona hospital where he was admitted to the intensive care unit.

"His clinical condition is critical and delicate," said the family, adding doctors are "monitoring his health and the neurological complications that resulted from the cardiac arrest".

The family said he has been undergoing additional tests and that it continuously follows the development of his health condition.

Angolan Foreign Minister Tete Antonio visited the president at the health unit a day earlier. He told Angola's national radio station that the government would assume all the costs of dos Santos's treatment.

Dos Santos was the leader of the Portuguese-speaking, oil-rich state of Angola for 38 years, until he stepped down in September 2017.

Dos Santos, who was born in the slums of Luanda, was one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, using his nation's oil wealth to turn one of his children into a billionaire while leaving his people among the poorest on the planet.