Moyo no longer an employee of Old Mutual, says Manuel
Old Mutual says it has ‘reconsidered its stance’ on filing an urgent declaratory order on whether it can bar Peter Moyo from returning to work
Old Mutual board chair Trevor Manuel says Peter Moyo is no longer an employee of the insurer, despite a letter sent to him saying that it “acknowledges that he has tendered his services and that he continues to do so” but he is not required to be present at work.
Manuel said on Friday that Moyo has received his six-months’ notice pay from Old Mutual, making it clear where he stands and added that he knows nothing about him working from home.
Manuel’s comments come after Old Mutual issued a statement saying it is not backing down in its legal battle with Moyo, despite sending him a letter saying it wants to “de-escalate litigation between the two parties”.
Old Mutual fired Moyo for the second time in August after the high court in Johannesburg ruled in July that his first axing was illegal because he was not afforded a disciplinary hearing. The second dismissal came while Old Mutual was still waiting to hear if it would be granted leave to appeal against the court’s July ruling that it should reinstate Moyo.
On Thursday, the insurer sent a letter to Moyo informing him that it would not be fighting the court’s second order that it should reinstate him, adding that he can only work remotely if he wants to continue “tendering his services” to Old Mutual.
The letter sent to Moyo by Old Mutual’s lawyers, Bowmans, says the insurer has since “reconsidered its stance” on filing an urgent declaratory order on whether it can bar him from returning to work because of the second dismissal.
Bowmans said Old Mutual had instead opted to wait for judge Brian Mashile’s ruling on the contempt of court application that Moyo’s legal team brought forward on Friday September 6. However, the insurer still insisted that Moyo could not come back.
“In the interim, our client maintains the stance articulated in our letter dated September 8,” Bowmans said.
In a statement sent on Friday morning, the insurer now says it has not “backed down” — at least not from the ongoing appeal process. Old Mutual has also said it reserves its rights in all respects relating to the existing or any future proceedings before the court.
“Old Mutual can categorically state it has not, in the letter, nor in any other way, said it is not pursuing its appeal against the judgment handed down by judge Brian Mashile on July 30,” it said in a statement.
Old Mutual was granted leave to appeal by the high court a week ago and “is, indeed, in the process of filing the requisite papers relating to that appeal”.
Old Mutual maintains that its second letter of termination to Moyo remains valid and hence he is not permitted nor required to return to work in the interim.
The court has granted the insurer leave to appeal against its ruling on the first dismissal but has not ruled on the legality of the second one.