Peter Moyo asks court to stop appointment of Old Mutual CEO
Former CEO files an urgent application after a full bench of the high court opens the way for Old Mutual to seek a new boss
Former Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo filed an urgent application on Friday to stop the process to appoint a new CEO.
The insurance group has been involved in a bitter battle with Moyo since May, when it suspended and later fired him over alleged conflicts of interest related to investment company NMT Capital. Moyo is one of the founders, and Old Mutual was a 20% shareholder.
Old Mutual said it has received the urgent application filed by Moyo to interdict the CEO recruitment process.
“Old Mutual is considering the latest application and will first consider the advice from our legal team before deciding on our next steps. Old Mutual has until February 20 2020 to file a notice of opposition to the application,” it said.
A previous high court judgment that Moyo had been fired illegally was overturned by a full bench on January 14. The judgment allowed Old Mutual to start the process of appointing a new CEO.
Moyo’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, said on Sunday that on the day of the judgment Moyo’s legal team notified Old Mutual by letter they could not proceed with the process as an appeal would be filed. That notice meant the January 14 judgment would be suspended until the appeal process was completed, he said.
Moyo had one month to file the appeal but did so on January 28. On February 5, the team asked Old Mutual for an undertaking that it would not continue with the CEO appointment process. On February 10, the company said it would not give the undertaking, which led to the filing of an urgent application to stop the process with the high court on February 14, said Mabuza.
Last month Old Mutual said it was confident that any further legal challenges from its ousted CEO would not derail its attempts to appoint a new leader and put the eight-month dispute behind it.
The case is to be heard on March 10, but Mabuza said the insurer still has the option to give an undertaking that it will not go ahead with the appointment, but this seems unlikely.
Old Mutual said that it “regrets that we are being drawn into yet another round of court proceedings by Mr Moyo. We confirm that we will continue to act responsibly, remain focused on our core business and protect the interests of Old Mutual and its stakeholders.”