AXED OLD Mutual chief executive Peter Moyo.     African News Agency (ANA)
AXED OLD Mutual chief executive Peter Moyo. African News Agency (ANA)

SCA cuts axed Old Mutual’s Moyo loose by dismissing his earlier appeal

By Dineo Faku Time of article published Mar 24, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) yesterday cut axed Old Mutual chief executive Peter Moyo loose when it dismissed his appeal of a January judgment that overturned an earlier order for his temporary reinstatement.

The judgment came days after the South Gauteng High Court dismissed Moyo’s application for an interdict prohibiting the hiring of a permanent chief executive.

In dismissing the application, the SCA said that Moyo’s intended appeal had no reasonable prospects of success and that the requirements for special leave to appeal had not been met.

In response to the decision, Old Mutual said yesterday that the court decision upheld the group's decision to terminate Moyo’s services in June last year.

“The effect of the decision is to uphold Old Mutual’s decision to terminate Mr Moyo’s services in June last year,” said Old Mutual.

Old Mutual, South Africa’s second-biggest insurance group, axed Moyo last June after the board reported a conflict of interest and a loss of trust and confidence.

Moyo had previously said relationships could always be repaired.

The 174-year-old insurance company, whose share price was under pressure due to the legal battle, said it was focused on finding a new chief executive.

“The recruitment process remains on track and as Old Mutual we remain focused on core business and on supporting our customers and other key stakeholders as we collectively navigate the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Old Mutual.

Despite the bruising defeat for Moyo following last week's court decision, Moyo’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, said yesterday that Moyo would continue his legal battle.

Mabuza said that Moyo would exercise his legal right to further appeal yesterday's court decision within the two weeks.

“We have options, within the next 15 days we can either approach the President of the SCA to reconsider today’s judgment, or we can go directly to the Constitutional Court. Litigants who are disappointed by lower courts have the right to approach the Constitutional Court. It is not unusual for the Constitutional Court to overturn the decisions of lower courts,” said Mabuza.

In July, South Gauteng High Court Judge Brian Mashile granted an interim order for Moyo’s reinstatement, and in August he dismissed Old Mutual’s application for a declaratory order seeking to prevent Moyo from returning to work.

But last week the Old Mutual board said it likely wanted to have appointed a new chief executive within a few months.

It said that it remained confident that the decision made was in the best interests of its stakeholders, adding that their duties were discharged in line with the high standard of governance and ethics expected of an established and respected organisation like Old Mutual.


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