ROB ROSE: A Grisly reckoning for Old Mutual
A crippling leadership crisis, and now a body at its door. Can life get any worse for Old Mutual?
It was pretty much the last thing that Iain Williamson, acting CEO of insurance giant Old Mutual, needed to see blasted across the headlines last week. On Friday November 15, the family of Sifiso Mtshali dragged his body (in a blue body bag) into the Old Mutual branch in KwaDukuza, north of Durban, in protest at the fact that they hadn’t been paid out for his funeral policy. Mtshali had died the previous Thursday, November 7. And the family, wanting to bury him the next Sunday, needed the cash.
The footage was broadcast widely. It showed a gruesomely visceral act, the sort you’d expect to see in the opening scene of a play deconstructing the withering effect of corporate bureaucracy on human dignity.