The protracted legal feud between insurance company Old Mutual, and its former CEO Peter Moyo resumes in court this morning where a full bench of judges will deliver a verdict on whether the axed CEO can or cannot get his job back.
The crux of the court case centres around whether Old Mutual followed its own contractual procedures when firing Moyo.
Today’s court appearance follows Old Mutual’s decision to appeal an initial court ruling in July last year that declared the insurer’s firing of Moyo as unlawful and ordered for his temporary reinstatement.
This will be the first time the two parties meet at the South Gauteng court in Johannesburg this year, following several appearances in 2019 after Old Mutual suspended Moyo in May and fired him in June over allegations of gross misconduct and a breakdown in trust and confidence.
The relationship breakdown stemmed from Moyo allegedly not acting in the insurer’s best interest by pocketing a dividend, worth millions, from NMT Capital – ahead of the investment firms payout of preference dividends owed to Old Mutual.
Moyo says he was fired following a fallout with board chair, Trevor Manuel after making protected disclosures about his use of company monies to foot his legal bills, without telling shareholders, and Manuel’s triple conflict of interest during the insurer’s managed separation from its London parent.
The decision is likely to impact investor sentiment towards the stock, which has been soured by the protracted legal action as well as South Africa’s ailing economy which has dampened consumer confidence.
On Monday, Old Mutual’s share price closed at R19.07 on the JSE, down more than 16% year on year.