Ver Angola


Government appoints ZAP management committee and removes Isabel dos Santos

On Friday, the Government appointed a management committee for the companies ZAP Media and Finstar and suspended the members of the board of directors of the television company, chaired by businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, from their duties.


Luís Pedro Correia de Sousa Henriques, Catarina Eufemia Amorim da Luz Tavira Van-Dunem and Jorge Filipe da Silva Antunes Jacques Gomes are transferred from the board of directors to the management committee, while Nazaré Ferreira Ramos and Pedro Alexandre Tavares da Silva also form part of this new entity.

The removal of Isabel dos Santos, daughter of former president José Eduardo dos Santos, whose stakes in ZAP and other companies had been seized in December 2019, from management roles in the company, is thus legally formalized.

Last week, the Attorney General's Office announced the handover of the management of the companies ZAP Media S.A. and Finstar to the ministry that oversees the media in Angola, which must guarantee the reintegration of workers made redundant from the ZAP Viva channel.

On the occasion, the PGR recalled that the shareholdings of the companies ZAP Media S.A and Finstar, owned by Isabel dos Santos, had been seized in 2019, and at the time the Boards of Directors of the aforementioned companies were constituted.

"Due to the collective dismissal of the employees of the ZAP Viva Channel, carried out by the aforementioned Trustees, the National Service for the Recovery of Assets requested in court their replacement to the Ministry of Telecommunications, Information Technology and Social Communication (Minttics), having such claim was granted", justified the PGR

Thus, "the new Trustee (Minttics) is in charge of reintegrating the dismissed workers, as well as practicing prudent management acts for the maintenance of the companies".

On 12 January it was announced that the channel ZAP Viva, which had been suspended in Angola since April last year, would close down and lay off hundreds of employees, according to the Angolan press.

Thus, it would be the second channel to close its doors following the decision of the Ministry of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Social Communication, which forced it to suspend channels alleging "nonconformities", after Vida TV, which ended its activities in July 2021, leaving more than 300 professionals unemployed.

The news was released on 12 January by the PlatinaLine portal, according to which the workers were fired due to the long period of inactivity of the channel in the national territory, since only broadcasting in Portugal and Mozambique was maintained.

Contacted by Lusa, ZAP's official source said he had no information to provide.

Angolan artists and public figures, meanwhile, expressed their solidarity and regretted the closure of the channel, as did businesswoman Isabel dos Santos.

On her Instagram account, Isabel dos Santos, who has lived outside Angola since her father, former president José Eduardo dos Santos, left power and faces several legal proceedings in the country, expressed "affection and admiration" for her colleagues at ZAP and said she was "heartbroken", expressing the hope of "coming back one day".

In September last year, the operator had already announced a gradual process of redundancies following the suspension of the ZAP Viva channel, stating that it was carrying out "the necessary steps to resume broadcasting in national territory", despite "not envision a time horizon of resolution".

Without mentioning how many jobs are at stake, ZAP mentioned, at the time, that it was "proceeding with various measures to optimize different operational areas", including the human resources assigned to the ZAP Estúdios Unit, responsible for the production of of television, which includes ZAP Viva.

ZAP is the result of a 'joint-venture' between the Portuguese telecommunications company NOS (30 percent) and SOCIP - Sociedade de Investimentos e Participações, SA (100 percent controlled by Isabel dos Santos) which provides satellite television to Angola and Mozambique. The ZAP VIVA channel is available in Portugal through NOS.

On April 21, 2021, the Government suspended the Record TV África, ZAP Viva and Vida TV channels, a measure justified by "legal non-conformities", also suspending the provisional registrations of newspapers, magazines, news websites and radio stations with no effective activity in the last two years, the list of which has never been released.

On the other hand, pay-TV providers, namely TV CABO, SA, DSTV ANGOLA, SA, FINSTAR - holder of ZAP TV, were duly legalized, but distributed the channels ZAP Viva, Vida TV and Rede Record without registration for the exercise of television activity in Angola, which led to the suspension.

At the time, the ministry said that its action was aimed at adjusting the process of attributing the title of definitive registration of the exercise of the activity to the media companies and has not given further explanations to date.

The Union of Angolan Journalists (SJA) again expressed concern, last week, with the situation of the ZAP Viva channel, because the process presents "many gray areas".

"Our opinion is based on many doubts, on the one hand, information on the reintegration of workers is welcome, it is applauded, on the other hand, there are a number of doubts that arise", said Teixeira Cândido.

According to Teixeira Cândido, provisionally the State will have custody of ZAP and FINSTAR, but if the State wins this decision in court, "it must urgently privatize, because it cannot have a monopoly".


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