SOUTH AFRICA - Johannesburg - 31 July 2019 - Newly reinstated Old Mutual’s CEO Peter Moyo’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza briefing media during Moyo’s first day at the office after winning his court case on Tuesday. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency(ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Old Mutual chief executive officer, Peter Moyo, reported for duty on Wednesday -- after a Johannesburg court ruled in his favour -- despite the insurer's decision to appeal the court ruling. 

"The filing of the appeal will suspend the operation of the court order," Old Mutual said a statement after the court proceedings -- which were a result of his unfair dismissal in May about the alleged conflict of interest.  

"Mr Moyo has been informed that he is not required or permitted to resume his duties, pending the outcome of the appeal proceedings. Old Mutual maintains that the urgent application by Mr Moyo was ill-conceived, contained a number of false allegations, and should have been dismissed. 

"While the company respects the court and its processes, it now plans to appeal to a higher court to argue that it acted lawfully when it terminated Mr Moyo's employment." 

Moyo was fired for alleged misconduct owing to the conflict of interest in NMT Group, the investment company he founded. He was found in breach of dividend payments of R115 million, of which the benefit to NMT Group was about R31 million.

Speaking at his work premises on Wednesday, he said: "I am not working and these are one of the things that need to be discussed. Hence we are currently waiting for our legal counsel so we can iron out these issues."

His lawyer Eric Mabuza also stated that talks between Old Mutual and the legal counsel would commence on Wednesday afternoon. 

"They [Old Mutual board members] are not here as yet. They have formally lodged their grievances and discussions will take place as soon as everyone arrives. Nothing is in the air, the court judgement is quite clear -- he has been reinstated with immediate effect," said Mabuza. 

Old Mutual said it was clear that there has been a complete and irreparable breakdown in trust and confidence in Moyo, adding that it was optimistic it would be successful on appeal and that another court will come to a different conclusion.  

"Until then, the business continues as usual under the stewardship of the highly experienced Iain Williamson as interim CEO, supported by a competent and focused leadership team," it said.

On Tuesday, Judge Brian Mashile ruled that Moyo’s dismissal could not be justified, was unlawful and illegal. 

The meeting between the two parties was however unfruitful. Old Mutual’s spokesperson Tabby Tsengiwe told media that the meeting could not take place on Wednesday as Old Mutual's representatives were unavailable, and that Moyo was still barred from working.

African News Agency (ANA)