Thursday, May 08, 2008

Angola lashes out at Bob Geldof

from The Times South Africa

LUANDA - Angola’s deputy prime minister has lashed out at Irish rock star turned political activist Bob Geldof over his claims that the southern African nation is run by criminals, state radio reported yesterday.

Aguinaldo Jaime said Geldof’s comments, made at a sustainable development conference held in Lisbon on Tuesday, were "unfortunate and disrespectful."

Geldof, the organiser of the mammoth Live Aid and Live 8 concerts who was knighted for his efforts to fight poverty, told the conference that Angola was a country "run by criminals."

He slammed the oil-rich, yet poverty-stricken southern African nation for building houses in the Bay of Luanda that were more luxurious than those in the exclusive Chelsea and Park Lane neighbourhoods of London.

"He showed total disrespect for Angolan people and the remarks are unfortunate," Jaime told Angolan radio station RNA. "He does not know Angolan reality. He does not know (for instance) that Angola’s government has invested heavily in the construction of affordable social houses."

The deputy prime minister added that the houses Geldof was referring to were built by private companies and that the Angolan government could not be held responsible for the prices.

An official with Imogestin, the real estate company that runs government’s social housing programme told AFP on condition of anonymity that some supposedly affordable houses "go for 180,000 (US Dollars), still out of reach for most Angolans."

1 comment:

A Citizen said...

Bob Geldoff spoke out of ignorance. Angola is a country that recently came out of war. You cant expect first world standards in 5 years of peace. If he wants to look for politicians involved in crime, why doesnt he look closer to home? And then he will realise that the extortion in the form of silly taxes, is the real crime. Poor remain poor... Besides, it is not our fault that our country is extremelly rich in natural resources... Analyse before you speak. Do not just make silly comments to getr the attention of the media. Your comments were outrageous and with no basis...