Peter Moyo vs Old Mutual: Insurer to clash in court with defiant CEO_1

On Wednesday, Old Mutual will seek to overturn an unprecedented judgment made by the South Gauteng High Court which ordered the reinstatement of embattled CEO, Peter Moyo.

Old Mutual and Peter Moyo are back in court tomorrow. Old Mutual's appeal against a high court order, which was delivered by Judge Brain Mashile on July 30 that temporarily reinstated Moyo as CEO and blocked the company from appointing a permanent CEO, will be argued.— Ray Mahlaka (@RayMahlaka) December 3, 2019

Where does the Old Mutual vs Peter Moyo debacle stem from?

The surmised version of this lengthy legal squabble is that Peter Moyo was relieved of his duties in June after it was discovered that he had pocketed a sizable share of the dividends that were paid to NMT Capital, a fund management company he co-founded.

This was seen as a conflict of interest, and Old Mutual cited a material breakdown of trust and confidence in Peter Moyo as their reason for booting him.

Peter Moyo won two court bids against the insurer. In July, the South Gauteng High Court ruled that the process Old Mutual had taken in axing Moyo was unlawful and ordered that he be reinstated, something that, till this day, has never happened.

Insurer wants High Court ruling overturned

On Wednesday, the insurer will be granted an opportunity to state its claim for why it has defied court rulings on two occassions.

The South Gauteng High Court will hear testimony from Old Mutual’s legal counsel on why Peter Moyo’s return to his position is just bad for business.

“Contrary to Mr Moyo’s attempt to convince the courts and public that every single non-executive director willfully breached their duties, the directors have continuously taken reasonably diligent steps to be informed about the matter and have made decisions which they had a rational basis to believe were in the best interests of the company,” Old Mutual noted in a statement that was published in late October.

Interim Iain Williamson has been praised by the insurer, for maintaining stability in light of this troubling period.

“The Board is not letting this unfortunate drama distract from the day-to-day running of the business. Interim CEO Iain Williamson, a veteran at Old Mutual of 26 years standing, is doing a sterling job and operationally the business continues uninterrupted,” the insurer added.

Moyo and his legal counsel have not made any statements prior to Wednesday’s court appearance which is expected to be quite eventful.