High court rules against Old Mutual, again, in Peter Moyo saga

07 September 2019 - 10:17
By LONDIWE BUTHELEZI
Peter Moyo. Picture: MARTIN RHODES/BUSINESS DAY
Peter Moyo. Picture: MARTIN RHODES/BUSINESS DAY

The Johannesburg high court has shot down Old Mutual’s attempt to prevent its axed CEO Peter Moyo from returning to work.

The court dismissed the insurer’s application to stop Moyo’s return until its appeal process is concluded.

“The application is dismissed in its entirety and the applicant is ordered to pay costs,” said Judge Brian Mashile on Friday.

This is yet another victory for Moyo, after the court ruled in his favour in July.

The court had ordered Old Mutual to reinstate Moyo as CEO but the insurer barred him from returning to work, opting to appeal that ruling instead. Old Mutual said it got legal advice that it can prevent Moyo from returning but it also filed an application, seeking clarity from the court if its interpretation was correct. 

At the same time, Mashile granted Old Mutual leave to appeal his July judgment that the insurer should reinstate Moyo. He ruled that Moyo’s dismissal in June was illegal because Old Mutual did not afford him a disciplinary hearing after accusing him of gross misconduct before firing him.

He ordered the insurer to reinstate him but Old Mutual appealed the ruling saying it believed a different judge could reach a different conclusion.

Old Mutual said despite the court dismissing its application, Moyo would not be returning to work on Monday because he didn't challenge the legality of his second axing.

“Mr Moyo has not challenged the contractual validity of the further notice of termination given on August 21. He will not be returning to work in the interim,” said the company in a statement late on Friday.

buthelezil@businesslive.co.za