The South Gauteng High Court upheld Old Mutual’s appeal against temporary reinstating its sacked chief executive Peter Moyo with costs. Photo: Dimpo Maja

JOHANNESBURG – The South Gauteng High Court upheld Old Mutual’s appeal against temporary reinstating its sacked chief executive Peter Moyo with costs, on Tuesday.

Old Mutual has been locked in a dispute with Moyo since it suspended him in May 2019 in relation to an alleged conflict of interest.

Old Mutual has repeatedly prevented Moyo from gaining access to his office after his initial court victory, and in August issued another notice terminating his employment, paying out six months of his salary. Moyo retaliated later that month, saying he would sue the company for R250 million in damages.

Moyo’s legal council Dali Mpofu urged the bench judges to dismiss Old Mutual’s appeal. “It would make a mockery of the idea of an interim order,” Mpofu told the South Gauteng High Court.

A South African court in Johannesburg ruled that Old Mutual Ltd. doesn’t have to give fired Chief Executive Officer Peter Moyo his job back. Photo: Nokuthula Mbatha African News Agency (ANA)

Old Mutual fired Moyo in June amid a material breakdown in the relationship of trust and confidence with the board.

In August, Old Mutual refused Moyo entry to its premises, saying he would not be returning to work and issued a further notice of termination in an open letter to shareholders.

Old Mutual said in papers that the letter of termination contained a lengthy section under the heading “reasons” for termination.

“It made it abundantly clear that the reasons for the termination related to alleged misconduct, and the resultant breakdown in the trust relationship,” it said.

It said the letter of termination referred to further misconduct which allegedly occurred after the suspension, wherein Moyo was accused of putting Old Mutual in disrepute by the public statements that he made.

Additional reporting by BR writers.