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."
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