South Africa - Johannesburg - 03 September 2019 - Signage on the Old Mutual building, Sandton. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)
South Africa - Johannesburg - 03 September 2019 - Signage on the Old Mutual building, Sandton. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Axed Old Mutual boss Moyo loses in court

By Dineo Faku Time of article published Mar 18, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The South Gauteng High Court yesterday paved the way for the appointment of a new Old Mutual chief executive after it dismissed axed boss Peter Moyo’s attempt to halt it.

Judge Colin Lamont dismissed Moyo’s application for an interdict prohibiting the hiring of a permanent chief executive. He also dismissed Moyo’s application to consolidate the pending contempt of court matter with the urgent interdict application.

The court further held that there had been no constitutional interference with Moyo’s right to work, dignity or self-worth and that Moyo was not entitled as a matter of constitutional law to employment at a particular employer.

Old Mutual, the 174-year-old insurance group, said that it looked forward to continuing with its intensive process to recruit a permanent chief executive.

“This will give us and the market much-needed certainty. Until then, we remain in the capable hands of interim chief executive, Iain Williamson and his skilled executive committee,” said the group.

In January the court ruled that Old Mutual did not have to reinstate Moyo, upholding the insurance and banking group's appeal against him with costs.

“Following our successful appeal in January, this ensures we move another crucial step forward in decisively dealing with all misdirected outstanding litigation initiated by Moyo. We are focused on moving on and driving our business forward under the guidance of a strong and dedicated leadership team,” the group said yesterday.

Old Mutual on Monday said that it expected to announce a new chief executive in the coming months. Williamson said the group stood by its decision to axe Moyo after it recorded lower results from its operations during the year ended December 2019.

“The board remains confident that the decision made was in the best interests of our stakeholders and that their duties were discharged in line with the high standard of governance and ethics expected of an established and respected organisation like ours,” said Williamson.

Old Mutual suspended Moyo over a conflict of interest and a breakdown in trust and confidence last May before axing him a month later.

On Monday Williamson said the group took the difficult decision after careful consideration of the relevant facts and actions.

The group also flagged that it was likely to miss its 2020 growth target on global equity market jitters and pressure on gross domestic product growth rates.


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