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Old Mutual bars CEO Peter Moyo from the office ... again

09 September 2019 - 15:48 By Kgothatso Madisa
Axed Old Mutual chief executive Peter Moyo tried to return to work on Monday but was told he would not be allowed into his office.
Axed Old Mutual chief executive Peter Moyo tried to return to work on Monday but was told he would not be allowed into his office.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe/Sunday Times

Old Mutual has again barred its embattled chief executive officer Peter Moyo from returning to work, SowetanLIVE reported.

The South Gauteng high court last week dismissed a second court application by Old Mutual to stop Moyo from returning to work until its appeal process had been finalised, but the company has remained steadfast that Moyo cannot return to work.

On his arrival at the Old Mutual offices on Monday morning, Moyo was hauled to a boardroom where he was told he would not be granted access to his office.

“When we arrived here they pulled us to the boardroom to tell us we are not authorised [to be] here. It’s déjà vu... they are again preventing Mr Moyo from taking over his duties as the CEO,” said his lawyer, Eric Mabuza.

“We have now asked Old Mutual to produce a legal authority which bars Mr Moyo from taking over his duties. They have gone to seek  that authority. We want the board resolution which authorised the decision to bar Mr Moyo from taking over his duties.”

Moyo was fired from the company by the board chaired by former finance minister Trevor Manuel for alleged conflict of interest involving a company he co-founded, NMT Capital. The board said at the time there were concerns around the declaration of Moyo's dividends in the company.

But Moyo later claimed his removal followed his disagreements with Manuel at board level. The financial services company said there was a breakdown in trust and confidence between the company and Moyo.

Following his first victory against Old Mutual in July, Moyo got the shock of his life when he showed up for work but was told he could not occupy his office. He said the company was in contempt of the high court order to have him reinstated.

Old Mutual has now said the letter dismissing Moyo still stands as it was not before the courts last week Friday when it dismissed the application barring him from returning to work.

"Old Mutual has this morning met former CEO Peter Moyo and his legal team to explain that Mr Moyo will not be returning to work because the further notice of termination given on August 21 stands, and Old Mutual’s contractual rights remain intact," spokesperson Tabby Tsengiwe said in a statement.

"It must be noted the validity of this letter was not before the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court last week Friday when the court heard an application brought by Mr Moyo in terms of Rule 6(5)(e) for leave to introduce further evidence and for further declaratory relief. Judgment on Friday's matter has, in any event, been reserved and is likely only in about two weeks.

"Old Mutual will be filing the appropriate appeal papers in the next few days and will let you know when we have been granted a date for the hearing and which court will hear it."