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Old Mutual: Moyo’s return will compromise interests of shareholders

Old Mutual has taken the CEO to court for clarity on whether a ruling by the same court last month directed the company to allow him to return to work.

FILE: Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

JOHANNESBURG - Lawyers for Old Mutual submitted to the Johannesburg High Court on Friday that there was a clear breakdown of trust in the relationship between Peter Moyo and the board.

Old Mutual has taken the CEO to court for clarity on whether a ruling by the same court in July directed the company to allow him to return to work.

Moyo arrived at the insurance giant’s Sandton offices after the court ruled that his dismissal was unlawful.

Representing Old Mutual, Vincent Maleka wanted the court to clarify the interim order by Judge Brian Mashile that Moyo’s dismissal was unlawful.

He said allowing Moyo to return to work affected Moyo as CEO and the board in its supervisory role and that if Moyo was allowed to return to work, the interests of shareholders would be compromised.

Maleka also questioned how Moyo would be able to work with the board which he considered to be conflicted.

He’s added that Moyo needed to prove hardship by not being reinstated as he had been paid for the past six months.

Maleka said Moyo himself had conceded that Old Mutual has lost around R15 billion during this period of uncertainty.

RULING NOT FINAL

Lawyers for Moyo have argued that the order by Judge Mashile could not be appealed as it was not a final ruling.

Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi has argued that Old Mutual evaded a disciplinary hearing for Moyo, which would have proved how his relationship with the board has been impaired.

He said without that process, it was a mere assertion that could not be tested.

Ngcukaitobi has also dismissed Old Mutual’s claim that shareholders and investors are concerned about the uncertainty, saying there was no affidavit before the court to support this.

He has also argued that Judge Mashile’s ruling was temporary depending on the outcome of Moyo’s application that the board be declared delinquent.

Supporting Ngcukaitobi, Advocate Dali Mpofu said the court had given Moyo 60 days to make this application and if he doesn’t, the order to have him reinstated would then fall away.

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