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Trevor Manuel apologises to Judge Brian Mashile

Manuel denigrated judge Brian Mashile’s order for the insurer to reinstate axed CEO Peter Moyo.

FILE: Former finance minister Trevor Manuel at the home of the late anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Old Mutual board chairperson Trevor Manuel has apologised for saying Judge Brian Mashile was “a single individual wearing a robe”.

On Friday, Manuel denigrated Mashile’s order for the insurer to reinstate axed CEO Peter Moyo.

“My unguarded observation, although withdrawn, has understandably caused discomfort for which I apologise unreservedly to the honourable judge presiding and to my fellow South Africans. It was never my intention to show disrespect to the learned judge or his judgement,” he said in a statement on Monday.

Addressing the media for the first time since the saga began, Manuel said Mashile’s judgement was a headache for corporate law and the judge’s decision could not supersede the powers of the board at corporate law.

The judge ruled twice that Moyo should be reinstated after he was fired earlier this years over a conflict of interest.

The former finance minister said he accepted that his language was wholly inappropriate to express his disagreement with the decision and sincerely regretted the manner in which he did so.

“I accept that my language was wholly inappropriate to express my disagreement with the decision and sincerely regret the manner in which I did so. My respect for the judiciary is unshaken and rooted in our sound legal process where all voices are heard with remedies available to address differences of legal position.

“I support the board of Old Mutual’s efforts to make full use of the appeal process available to Old Mutual to state its case before the full court of the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court. I remain fully committed to the integrity of the judiciary, and to the constitutional value of the independence of our judiciary,” he said.