Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Moyo: I don’t know why the board does not want me back

 

 

The waiting game for newly reinstated Old Mutual chief executive, Peter Moyo continues after nearly seven hours of talks between his legal representatives and that of the financial services giant came to nought.

Moyo entered the Old Mutual headquarters in Sandton on Wednesday morning ready to begin work accompanied by his lawyer Eric Mabuza, but Mabuza quickly led him away to a closed door meeting with his employer.

Old Mutual had meanwhile, first thing on Wednesday morning, filed an urgent application to appeal the Johannesburg high court’s decision on Tuesday that Moyo should be reinstated. Old Mutual, in its appeal, argues that Moyo’s application was “ill-conceived, contained a number of false allegations, and should have been dismissed.”

Moyo and Mabuza went into a discussion with Old Mutual’s lawyers, Moyo maintaining that Old Mutual should abide by the court order despite it having instituted an appeal. But the parties failed to agree on the interpretation of the court order.

“I was back [at work] as directed by the court. Old Mutual doesn’t believe I should and I actually think that is in direct contempt of court. The board is clearly in contempt,” Moyo told journalists as he left the building later in the day.

Following the breakdown of talks, Mabuza said that Old Mutual requested both parties bring in their senior counsel in order to break the impasse.

“Our senior counsel was ready to come here and they [Old Mutual] later told us that their senior counsel is not available. Hopefully the discussions between the counsel will continue,” he said.

Moyo was fired in June following a public spat between himself and the board led by chair Trevor Manuel over a conflict of interest regarding the declaration of dividends Moyo received from investment holding company, NMT Capital. Moyo received a R30,6-million share of the dividends paid. Old Mutual has a 20% stake NMT, which is also co-founded by Moyo.

Asked why the Old Mutual board insists he should not resume his duties, Moyo said that he does not know. “Ask them,” he said. “By the board’s own admission I was a very good performing chief executive.”

“Mr Moyo is not permitted nor allowed to resume duty because our leave to appeal actually means that the order to have him reinstated is suspended,” said Old Mutual spokesperson Tabby Tsengiwe.

“It is very clear that there has been an irreparable breakdown in trust and confidence, and that any future working relationship is untenable, Old Mutual said in a statement on Wednesday.

Shares in the insurer tumbled by more than 5% on Tuesday after the court ruling. Old Mutual says that its appeal is in the best interests of its shareholders.

“We’re acting within the confines of the law and that everything that has happened is actually primarily in the interests of all our stakeholders,” Tsengiwe said.

While Old Mutual says talks will not continue on Wednesday, it is unclear whether or not Moyo will return to the company’s offices on Thursday to resume work. 

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Thando Maeko
Thando Maeko is an Adamela Trust business reporter at the Mail & Guardian

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

ANC members take legal action over council selection disputes

Nine ANC members in the North West’s Greater Taung Municipality have sent a letter to the national list committee threatening to go to court should the ANC not respond to their demands.

Court judgment about alien fish is about more than trout...

Judge finds that public participation in democratic processes is not the exclusive preserve of the privileged few who have access to the internet and can read English

More top stories

Ramaphosa calls for public nominations for new chief justice

The president has named a panel of experts to help him draw up a shortlist of candidates in an unprecedented move that opens the appointment to consultation

Q&A Sessions: Meet the rhino whisperer, Cathy Dreyer

Cathy Dreyer, the first female head ranger of the Kruger National Park, speaks to Sheree Bega about earning the trust of black rhinos by reading to them and why the park’s hard-working rangers deserve the admiration of all South Africans

Zondo asks court for state capture commission report deadline to...

The state capture commission report will not be ready by the end of September, and Zondo says he believes it will be in the public interest to grant an extension

Municipal employees to get a 3.5% increase after wage deal

The South African Local Government Association said a three-year wage deal had been agreed on the remuneration of municipal employees
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×