Old Mutual sacks Peter Moyo ... again: What you need to know

23 August 2019 - 09:49 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Old Mutual sacked Peter Moyo for a second time on Thursday.
Old Mutual sacked Peter Moyo for a second time on Thursday.
Image: Martin Rhodes/Business Day

Old Mutual has again fired Peter Moyo, a month after he was reinstated by the high court.

The company sacked its former CEO for a second time on Thursday and said it would continue to fight his attempts to be reinstated.

Here is what you need to know:

Growing pressure

The decision to terminate Moyo's employment follows growing pressure on Old Mutual by stakeholders. He was axed earlier this year over alleged conflicts of interest.

The insurer accused Moyo of receiving a R30m payment from a company called NMT Capital. Old Mutual maintained the payment should have been made to Old Mutual first.

Accusations

Since then, the pair's relationship has soured, with accusations flying in both directions.

On July 7, Sunday Times reported that Moyo took aim at Old Mutual's directors, including former finance minister Trevor Manuel.

In part B of his application, Moyo said he wanted Manuel and the 13 other non-executive directors to be declared delinquent under Section 162 of the Companies Act.

Moyo’s lawyers said Old Mutual directors neglected their fiduciary duties, using the way in which the matter was handled by the company as a basis.

High court ruling

The high court in Johannesburg ruled that Old Mutual should temporarily reinstate Moyo, after firing him without a disciplinary hearing.

Judge Brian Mashile said the insurer failed to follow the terms of Moyo’s employment contract when he was dismissed.

Mashile said Moyo should be temporarily reinstated pending part B of his court application.

Second notice of termination

However, Old Mutual said it would appeal the decision.

In an open letter to shareholders, Old Mutual’s board said it would explore all reasonable alternative options, but could not have Moyo back.

The company said a continued employment relationship between the insurer and Moyo was “untenable”.

“For this reason, Old Mutual has now given Mr Moyo a further notice terminating his employment.”

TimesLIVE reported that the second notice of termination “has been taken after legal advice and on careful reflection by directors, with proper regard to their fiduciary duties to the company”.

“We must accept that Mr Moyo may decide to challenge this step too. We will stand our ground if he does, naturally and at all times continuing to respect the law and our court system.”


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