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Angola: The assassination of a ruling party MP

On the night of July 29, Angola was shaken by another display of violence. Beatriz Salucombo, a parliamentarian from the ruling MPLA, and her brother António Neves, a Migration and Foreigners Services (SME) officer, were gunned down by three men on the outskirts of the capital Luanda. Beatriz Salucombo and António Neves were shot several times outside her home.

As is to be expected, this painful incident has provoked reactions from the very heart of Angolan society, and expressions of revulsion at yet another mysterious act of violence were soon in coming. Pensar e Falar Angola [pt] blog, Jotacê Carranca describes the funeral, at Luanda's Alto das Cruzes cemetery:

Filhos e outros parentes, deputados, magistrados e militares, amigos e familiares da deputada reuniram-se no Alto das Cruzes para prestar-lhe a última homenagem, num clima de consternação. (…)

Na sua mensagem, os filhos da malograda enalteceram o exemplo de coragem e resistência face às adversidades da vida, bem como de outros valores éticos e morais que a mãe lhes incutiu durante a sua convivência com os mesmos.

No elogio fúnebre, destacou-se a participação activa de Beatriz Salucombo nas acções de luta clandestina contra o colonialismo português, particularmente no apoio aos guerrilheiros do MPLA na zona da Lunda Sul.

O elogio fúnebre referiu o seu percurso político, “cheio de grandes feitos, revela bem a sua militância e entrega total aos ideais do MPLA e em prol da defesa da paz, da democracia, justiça social e do desenvolvimento de Angola”.

Children and other relatives, MPs, judges and members of the military, friends and family of the [murdered] Member of Parliament met at the Alto das Cruzes cemetery to pay their last respects to her, in an atmosphere of turmoil. [...] In their message, the children of the deceased praised the example of courage, strength in the face of life’s adversities and the other ethical and moral values that their mother had instilled in them throughout their lives.

The eulogy highlighted Beatriz Salucombo's active participation in the clandestine fight against Portuguese colonialism, especially in support of the MPLA guerrillas in the Lunda Sul area.

Her political career was described in the tribute as being “full of great achievements, showing her militancy and total dedication to the ideals of the MPLA and to the defense of peace, democracy, social justice and development in Angola”.

The killing of the MP and her brother raises at least two questions. Was it a premeditated murder or just an attempted robbery? The fact is that the car in which Beatriz Salucombo was traveling was not taken, and there is no sign that any of her belongings were stolen. Yet according to the three suspected men, identified by presented Angola’s National Police after a city-wide manhunt last Friday, the motive for the killing was a plan to steal the car. Two of the arrested men have since died in crossfire with the police.

Eugénio da Costa Almeida from the Pululu [pt] blog expresses his sympathy for the victims and asks one question: Who was the real target?

(A minha homenagem e o meu lamento)

A deputada Beatriz Salucombo, eleita nas listas do MPLA pelo círculo Nacional (foi a 105ª), foi alvejada a tiro na noite de quarta e terá falecido hoje na sequência dos disparos; deplora-se, veementemente, este assassinato, não só porque coloca em causa a ideia de segurança que se deseja para o País, nomeadamente, em vésperas do CAN 2010 como pelo facto de ter ocorrido na véspera de mais um Dia da Mulher Africana.

Mas será que o alvo era a deputada ou terá sido uma vítima colateral?

Segundo as notícias veiculadas pelos diferentes meios de Comunicação Social, também o seu irmão, que ter-lhe-ia dado boleia para casa, terá igualmente sucumbido aos tiros que teriam vindo de pessoas que se fariam transportar num todo-terreno.

É que, só por mero acaso(?), o irmão era só o superintendente-chefe, António Neves, dos Serviços de Migração e Estrangeiros (SME) entidade que, ultimamente, tem andado muito activa “devolução” de ilegais (como os ocorridos, no Lubango, já este mês).

Mas também não se deve esquecer o impacto nunca deveras esclarecido da detenção de alguns funcionários, em 2005, como terão escrito, há época, o AngoNotícias citando o VOA, e a Panapress. E, não me recordo, nem a Internet o mostra, de se saber mais do assunto…

Já agora, talvez que a morte da desditosa deputada possa ajudar a esclarecer também a morte de outro antigo deputado professor-engenheiro M´fulupinga N’Landu Victor, do PDP-ANA, acontecida já há 5 anos, e que, se a memória não me falha, e apesar das autoridades afirmarem que o caso não está esquecido não me recordo de o ver clarificado e o(s) autor(es) detido(s) e julgado(s).

Coincidências, claro!!

(My tribute, with sadness at her death)

MP Beatriz Salucombo, voted into the MPLA through the National polls (she was the 105th to be elected) was targeted in a shooting on Wednesday night and died today as a result of the shots. This murder is deeply deplored not only because it calls into question the security which the country craves, particularly in the run-up to the CAN 2010, but also because it occurred on the eve of another African Women's Day.

But was the MP the target of the attack, or was she a collateral victim?

According to reports by the various media and her brother, who was giving her a ride home, she was also hit by shots fired by people inside a 4×4.

Is it a mere coincidence (?) that her brother was none other than the superintendent-in-chief António Neves, of the Migration and Foreigners Service (SME), an entity that, lately, has been very active “removing” illegal immigrants (as in Lubango, earlier this month).

Neither should we forget the impact of the arrest, never fully explained, of certain officials in 2005, as reported at the time by AngoNotícias, quoting VOA, and Panapress. I do not recall anything more being said about the matter, and the Internet cannot shed any further light on it…

Now, perhaps, the unfortunate death of the MP can also help to clarify the death of another former MP, engineering lecturer M´fulupinga N’Landu Victor, of the PDP-ANA party, which took place 5 years ago. If my memory serves me correctly, despite authorities claiming that the case has not been forgotten, I cannot remember the case ever having been cleared up and the perpetrator(s) held and brought to trial.

Coincidences, of course!

Cazimar, from the África Minha [pt] blog, states that no human life should ever be taken, but he believes that the murderers, in this case, are both criminals and victims. According to him, this must have been a premeditated crime:

Estão a culpar os Jovens Bandidos, quando por detrás deste cenário, pode(m) estar adultos bandidos influentes(ricos), envolvidos em negociatas obscuras mal resolvidas, que resolveram usar os jovens por encomenda, para resolverem a negociata. É sabido, que a criminalidade, principalmente em Luanda, é elevada, devido às desigualdades sociais.Uns com Excesso de Riqueza(10%), outros com Excesso de Pobreza (90%).Perante este cenário, é normal que por meia dúzia de Kwanzas, os jovens bandidos, aceitem executar o trabalhinho sujo dos adultos bandidos influentes(ricos).A vida está difícil para o angolano e para o calcinha do Kaluanda, que todos os dias olha ao seu redor, e só vê edíficios e outros bens de luxo a erguerem-se e a passarem à sua frente, e ele com os bolsos vazios e esfomeado, deambulando pelas ruas, sem trabalho.Quando o trabalho existe, é mal pago e explorado (lembram-se quando diziam que os portugueses exploravam o angolano.Agora, quem os explora são tantos e está tudo bem…uma maravilha para o angolano bandido influente).O kaluanda, tem que fazer pela vida.Nem que seja roubar o bandido rico.

E se, os jovens bandidos, que acusam, fizerem parte dos 15.000 angolanos recentemente desalojados.

Qual é, o maior crime?

Tirar o tecto a 15.000 angolanos carenciados, ou tirar a vida a dois angolanos priveligeados?

Responda quem souber e puder

Young bandits have been blamed, but behind the scenes there may be influential adult (and rich) criminals engaged in murky business, who decided to recruit these young people to carry out the killing so as to bring their crooked deals to a head. It is well known that the level of crime, especially in Luanda, is high due to social and economic inequality. A few individuals have wealth in excess (10%); others experience extreme poverty (90%). In this situation, it is common for young bandits to agree to carry out the dirty work of influential adult criminals in exchange for a handful of Kwanzas [Angolan currency]. Life is difficult for the Angolan and for the young Luandan, who only has to look around to see luxury buildings and other properties mushrooming all over the place, while he has empty pockets and goes hungry, roaming the streets with no work. What work exists is poorly paid and exploitative (remember when they used to say that the Portuguese were exploiting the Angolans? Well, now there are many others doing the exploiting, and no-one bats an eyelid; it’s perfect for the influential Angolan thug). The Luandan guy has to make a living, even if it means robbing the rich crook.

And what if the young bandits who have been accused are among the 15,000 newly displaced Angolans?

Which is the greater crime?

Taking the roofs from over the heads of 15,000 Angolans in need, or taking the lives of two privileged Angolans?

Answer that if you can.

A teacher by profession, Beatriz Salucombo became an MP in 2008. She was a member of the National Assembly's Commission for Education, Science and Technology, Culture, Youth and Sports, Religious Issues and Social Communication.

Article proofread by Maisie Fitzpatrick
  • neves

    Qual é, o maior crime?

    Quero antes começar a responder a pergunta: qual é o maior crime.

    \O crime não tem tamanho\ comparado com o termo biblico-pecado. porque quem mata e quem rouba e quem ofende e também aquele que comete a fornicação todos tem o mesmo fim\punição\ noutro lado não devemos atribuir a culpa das coisas aos mais previlegiados porque ném todos tem-no de forma ilicita como os mais sabidos ricos sem causa
    muitas vezes perdemos tempo apontando o que os outros são e deixam de ser, esquecemo-nos de que temos de caminhar para fazermos da nossa vida bom proveito
    Deus criou o homem cada um a sua sorte ninguém é igual ao outro imaginem que todos fossemos ricos ou pobres
    mas a questão é simples \temos de aceitar a diferença\ só assim poderemos ser donos de nós mesmos
    esqueçam o que os outros são
    e se procurarmos ser como eles vamos todos morrer como eles… … !!! ???.

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