THE LEGAL battle between Old Mutual and CEO Peter Moyo is, and will be costly.
This week the fraught Moyo was reinstated back as interim CEO by the South Gauteng High Court but his employers are having none of it, and instructed should NOT set his foot inside the multi-billion rand building in Sandton, citing its appealing the court ruling.
Moyo’s lawyer Eric Mabuza disagreed: “An application for leave to appeal only suspends a court order which is final. This is not a final order, it says he is temporarily reinstated. They are in contempt of the court order because they should implement the order, it’s not being disturbed by anything.”
“We actually came back as directed by the court but Old Mutual don’t believe I should, and I quite frankly consider it a total contempt of court and I think it’s one of those things where the board is clearly in contempt,” said Moyo, who was seen punching the air with joy following the court’s ruling.
In counter-action Old Mutual spokesperson Tabby Tsengiwe said the company obtained advice that the CEO can’t return to work until the appeal is finalised.
“As far as we have taken counsel as Old Mutual, it means that Mr Moyo is not permitted or allowed to resume duty because our leave to appeal actually means that the order to have him reinstated is suspended.”
Moyo’s fight with Old Mutual stems from claims that there was conflict of interest due to his involvement in a company he co-founded called NMT Capital, and that former minister of finance Trevor Manual, the board’s chairperson suspended and later fired Moyo.
The board said at the time that there were concerns around declaration of Moyo’s dividends in the company. But Moyo later claimed that his removal followed his disagreements with Manuel at board level.
Moyo was supposed to report for work on Wednesday but suddenly there was a hoax bomb that was confirmed by Tsengiwe, who said they received notification that there might be a bomb in the building.
The staff was evacuated and no injuries or harm were reported, according to the cops that were combing off the building on Wednesday evening.
Moyo will consult with his senior counsel, Advocate Dali Mpofu, to decide the next step, as old Mutual awaits to appeal the court ruling.
As the green grass suffers, so will be the staff who are unsure when will this bickering between Manual and Moyo will end.
One thing is certain –this is going to be a costly mess.
Round two, here we go…
Image (Outside Court. Punching the air with aplomb CEO Peter Moyo’s employers Old Mutual defied the Court ruling to allow him back at work on Wednesday).