General Manuel Helder Vieira Dias Júnior (Kopelipa)
Minister of State and head of Military House, Office of the President
Commentary: Enormously wealthy and one of Dos Santos' closest allies. 'Kopelipa' has a number of business interests in addition to his government portfolio. Since 2008 Kopelipa has been regarded as the real head of the presidency, 'O chefe do boss', the boss's boss. Leaks that discredit Kopelipa seem to come from the boss himself, Dos Santos, aka 'Zedu', who is skilled at cutting his rivals down to size.
Kopelipa’s 2010 promotion as one of three ministers of state makes him the
government’s nominal number four behind Dos Santos, Nando and Civil
Chief of Staff Carlos Maria da Silva Feijó, a long-time presidential advisor. He joins the Council of Ministers and also heads the military oversight body, the Casa Militar, with a security apparatus to manage a smooth re-election for Dos Santos. He also remains in charge of the Gabinete de Reconstrução Nacional and the Chinese infrastructure money – though we hear that will soon be taken over by his close ally, José dos Santos da Silva Ferreira, the Minister of Urbanism and Construction.