Old Mutual. Picture: BLOOMBERG/SIMON DAWSON
Old Mutual. Picture: BLOOMBERG/SIMON DAWSON

Katharine Child is to be congratulated for her report on the high court’s finding in the Moyo/Old Mutual matter, quoting key excerpts from the judgment that made it pretty clear what had been going on (Peter Moyo unlikely to win his second legal case, say judges, January 14).

We had a highly  paid CEO in business on his own account making a self-serving decision that prejudiced his employer, suspended for conflict of interest, fired in terms of contract providing for no-fault termination on notice, alleging employer hostility and misdeeds the court found to be untrue, a lower court finding against all precedents that he was likely to be reinstated, and the arrogance and entitlement of the plaintiff, apparently shocked by the judgment, tenaciously pursuing equally vexatious claims.

However, there are outstanding issues that have arisen during this process that need addressing. Why was there support for the unsound advice that Old Mutual (for the sake of getting rid of the problem) should ignore the scale of the demands, the merits of the case and the moral hazard implicit therein, and settle at all costs?

Why did Old Mutual permit its full-time CEO to remain a director and substantial owner of a business, and moreover do business  with it? Is this a common  practice or, more likely, highly unusual? If so, did Old Mutual agree to a practice that would not normally have been permitted in its desperation to employ  a black CEO? If so, has it now learned the same lesson learned by the DA?

Sydney Kaye
Cape Town