Financial services group Old Mutual says it has met with former chief executive officer (CEO) Peter Moyo and his legal team “to explain that Mr Moyo will not be returning to work”.
It cited its further notice of termination given on August 21, saying that the termination notice still stands, and Old Mutual’s contractual rights remain intact, even after the Johannesburg High Court on Friday (6 September), dismissed the group’s application to prevent his return until the conclusion of his appeal process.
The same court ruled at the end of July that Old Mutual acted unlawfully when dismissing Moyo, while also blocking the business from continuing a process of finding a replacement.
The court also ordered Old Mutual to pay Moyo’s legal costs.
The insurer had previously stated that following legal advice, “Mr Moyo is not permitted nor required to report for work”.
Moyo was suspended by the Old Mutual 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.
Moyo has denied any wrongdoing.
“It must be noted the validity of this letter was not before the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court last week Friday when the court heard an application brought by Mr Moyo in terms of Rule 6(5)(e) for leave to introduce further evidence and for further declaratory relief. Judgement on Friday’s matter has, in any event, been reserved and is likely only in about two weeks,” Old Mutual said in a statement on Monday (9 September).
“Despite the High Court – unexpectedly at the beginning of the hearing on Friday – dismissing Old Mutual’s application to suspend the July 30 reinstatement order pending an appeal, Old Mutual was at the same time granted leave to appeal the first judgement and is confident another court will come to a different conclusion.
“This is borne out by the fact that Judge Mashile in granting OM leave to appeal observed that “the current position is that the relationship between the parties is unwholesome. The nature of that relationship would potentially have a serious, immediate, ongoing and irreparable damage in weight on the management of (Old Mutual),” the group said.
Old Mutual said it will file the appropriate appeal papers in the next few days. “Old Mutual representatives have the full authority of the board to enforce the second notice of termination and take all the related steps,” it said.
A video posted to social media by CNBC Africa anchor, Fifi Peters, showed an ebullient Moyo arriving at work.
Peter Moyo has arrived at Old Mutual to resume his duties as CEO. Old Mutual has said Moyo will not be returning to work in the interim as he has not challenged the validity of his second firing on August 21#OldMutualvsMoyo @cnbcafrica pic.twitter.com/RMxQiPuWNO
— Fifi Peters (@FifiPeters) September 9, 2019
Moyo was then blocked by the insurer from returning to his office.
Axed Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo has been barred by the insurer from return to his office this morning. Moyo’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, below 👇🏾 pic.twitter.com/Nki8wq5eOP
— Ray Mahlaka (@RayMahlaka) September 9, 2019