Old Mutual to appeal Moyo reinstatement, EFF calls for Manuel exit as chair

The High Court found that Peter Moyo’s axing as CEO was unlawful and that he should be reinstated temporarily.

Peter Moyo in the Johannesburg High Court on 18 July 2019. Picture: Nthakoana Ngatane/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Old Mutual on Wednesday said it would appeal the judgment by the High Court in Johannesburg which ordered the company to reinstate its axed CEO Peter Moyo.

The court found that Moyo’s axing was unlawful and that he should be reinstated temporarily. It also ruled that the insurer could not take steps to replace him in the interim.

Moyo told reporters that he would be back in his office on Wednesday morning. But it wasn’t clear whether he would be allowed back after the company’s decision to review the judgment.

He was suspended in May and later fired as CEO after the company cited a conflict of interest on his part.

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Tuesday called on former finance minister and current Old Mutual board chair Trevor Manuel to immediately step down from the position.

In a statement, the party said it planned to write to all major stakeholders - including the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) - to demand Manuel's removal should he refuse to resign.

“From the many revelations that were confirmed by the court, Trevor Manuel behaves as if Old Mutual is his or his parents’ private company, where he can hire and fire executives as and when he wishes. Now that the court has settled the matter of his unlawful and illegal dismissal of the CEO, and confirmed his conflict of interest in internal Old Mutual matters, Trevor Manuel must go. Trevor Manuel must pack his bags and leave Old Mutual and allow ethically sound and strong leadership to lead Old Mutual to prosperity," said EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

“The EFF will write to all major shareholders, including the PIC to demand that Trevor Manuel must step down as Chairperson or fired if he arrogantly refuses to step down. Principles of corporate governance must not be sacrificed on the altar of arrogance and disrespect of other people.”