The law firm Amaral Gourgel & Associados no longer legally represents the IURD and TV Record in Angola for disagreeing with the “deprecating” comments made against the Angolan people and the first lady, Ana Dias Lourenço.
The information was provided to Lusa by the lawyer and partner in charge, João Amaral Gourgel, who said he did not see the allegations made by Brazilian journalist Augusto Nunes about Ana Dia Lourenço issued on Wednesday by TV Record, in Brazil.
The commentator said that the wife of the Angolan President, João Lourenço, who was also Minister of Planning under former President José Eduardo dos Santos, would have enriched himself with illegal deals involving the MPLA, the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht and Orion, an advertising company and communication that he was a shareholder.
“The Constitution of Angola says that the Republic of Angola is a secular state and the Government is interfering. But this is one thing, another thing is this gentleman [Augusto Nunes] make comments in which you are offending the first lady, which are unacceptable”, criticized the lawyer.
Therefore, “we will no longer represent the interests of the IURD and TV Record”, said João Amaral Gourgel, criticizing the offensive and derogatory comments that have been made at Record.
Gourgel’s office is one of the legal representatives of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD), owner of TV Record Africa in Angola, a country where the internal conflict in the Brazilian church ended with the recognition and legitimization of the Angolan wing, dissident, by part Government, although there are still cases pending in court.
On April 21, the Angolan government forced TV Record Africa to suspend broadcasts alleging “legal non-compliance”. On the same day, two other private channels were suspended, VIDA TV and Zap Viva, owned by the telecommunications operator ZAP, belonging to Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos.
João Gourgel stated that he disagrees with the content of reports broadcast by TV Record in the context of the conflict between the Brazilian wing and the Angolan wing of the IURD, which has been going on since 2019, which has worsened since last year, with episodes of aggression and occupation of temples .
For the lawyer, the way Angolans were portrayed, conveying the image of a xenophobic people who “would be attacking foreign citizens”, is unacceptable.
“I always advised the IURD to disconnect the Angolan people from what was happening, which was an internal conflict, it was a problem within the church, they didn’t have to involve either the Angolans or the other Brazilians who are in Angola”, he said.
“As they no longer take into account my recommendations, I prefer not to see my name associated with this type of comments. I do not accept that you make comments in relation to the First Lady in the way you did”, he declared, explaining that, for this reason, he decided to separate the name of the company he represents from comments that he classified as “low from an ethical and moral point of view”.
Since November 2019, the IURD in Angola has been a matter of dispute for the leadership and legitimacy of representing the institution, founded by the Brazilian Edir Macedo, between the wing of Brazilian origin and the reformist wing.
The wing of Brazilian origin called for this Friday a general assembly to elect new governing bodies, against which the reformist wing, led by Bishop Valente Bizerra Luís, is threatening to go to court.
The meeting was expected to discuss and vote on the proposed amendment to the statutes of the IURD Angola, as well as the appreciation of the “alleged IURD general assembly” which was convened for February 13, 2021.
The legitimacy of this general assembly was contested at the time by IURD Angola, from which the dissident wing, meanwhile legitimized at government level, emerged.
This Friday’s general meeting took place behind closed doors without the deliberations being known so far.