Old Mutual says it intends to file papers opposing the application by former chief executive officer Peter Moyo to be reinstated, among other things, next week.
The financial services firm said that while it does not usually respond publicly to allegations made in court papers, “it is a matter of concern that Mr Moyo and his legal team appear to be following a deliberate strategy of attempting to divert attention from Mr Moyo’s own actions”.
“This strategy has included casting aspersions on other directors of Old Mutual by making false and unwarranted allegations directed, in particular, at the board chair,” the group said.
Old Mutual’s board confirmed in June that the employment contract of Moyo had been terminated. Moyo was suspended by the board on 23 May after it concluded that there had been a material breakdown in trust and confidence.
This followed prior engagements with Moyo over concerns about how a conflict of interest had been managed in relation to his investments in the NMT group of companies.
“Old Mutual looks forward to delivering a full response to Mr Moyo’s allegations in Court on July 16 and is confident in the outcome,” the group said in a statement on Friday (5 July).
“The suggestion by Mr Moyo, also reported in the media, that the Old Mutual non-executive directors are under the sway of the board chair, and were incapable of exercising independent judgement in reaching the conclusion that there has been a breakdown in trust and confidence in Mr Moyo is totally without foundation.
“This is not only deeply disrespectful to the women and men of high standing, business experience and integrity who make up the board of Old Mutual, but also regrettable and unfortunate. Their track records as business executives, as leaders and directors of companies is unquestionable.”
Old Mutual said that its business has not been affected by Moyo’s allegations, adding that all of its commitments to deliver on the transformation agenda remain on track.