Old Mutual attempts to set Moyo record straight

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Old Mutual chairperson Trevor Manuel has conceded that the Peter Moyo court judgement has created a huge headache for the insurer and for the entire corporate space in the country.

Manuel, flanked by two Board directors, addressed the media on Friday about the insurer’s ongoing furore with its CEO.

Manuel chided the media about reports regarding the ongoing disagreement between Moyo and insurer saying, “What that affidavit does is to explain in some detail how the breakdown of trust and confidence developed. It wasn’t something that happened on a single day. There was a process, it was pretty detailed. It was a process whereby we listened to each other.”

He further added that on May 2, “The Board on that day put together a committee of four people… to try and meet with Peter because there were conflicting reports of where we were.”

The embattled CEO, returned to work on Monday, September 9 to discover that he was not allowed into the building by the insurer’s head of security.

It was meant to be his first day back after he was reinstated by the South Gauteng High Court the Friday earlier.

The insurance giant fired Moyo – who was suspended in June and later fired again a second time – over an alleged conflict of interest regarding his company NMT Capital, in which Old Mutual also owned 20% shares.

“He was either untruthful when he attested to the pre-listing statement or he was untruthful when he submitted an affidavit to the court about the triple conflict that had never been raised before,” Manual said as he addressed journalists and explained how the company arrived at this point.

“From April, intensively, he (Peter Moyo) was engaged in the process. The Board was very concerned when it came across certain information that hadn’t been given to it,” he elaborated.

Old Mutual says the breakdown in relationship is a result of NMT’s failure to timeously pay out the preferred dividend.

In a statement on the company website dated 13 September, Old Mutual said: “Old Mutual confirms it sent a legal letter to former CEO Peter Moyo’s attorneys yesterday to provide clarity that it would not be seeking further court intervention relating to Mr Moyo’s second letter of termination, but has certainly not “backed down” from its ongoing appeal process against an earlier judgement handed down in the High Court in the matter.”

It further stated that it has not, by letter or other means, “said it is not pursuing its appeal against the judgment handed down by Judge Mashile on July 30. 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 Mr Moyo remains valid and hence he is not permitted nor required to return to work in the interim,” the statement concluded.