Peter Moyo: My right to work, dignity and self-worth can't be replaced by money | Fin24
 
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Peter Moyo: My right to work, dignity and self-worth can't be replaced by money

Feb 17 2020 17:11
Lameez Omarjee

Axed Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo has said he will suffer further reputational harm if the financial services company appoints a new CEO while there is an ongoing court battle.

Moyo made the remarks in an urgent court application filed at the Johannesburg High Court on Friday, February 2020. The matter is set to be heard on March 10, 2020.

He wants the court to interdict Old Mutual from appointing a new permanent CEO. "My reputational rights will also be severely affected should a new CEO be appointed while I am in court to be reinstated to the same position," Moyo said.

Old Mutual, in a statement on Sunday, said it received the urgent application and is considering legal advice before deciding on whether it will oppose. "Old Mutual will first consider advice from our legal team before deciding our next steps. Old Mutual has until 20 February 2020 to file a notice of opposition to the application.

"Old Mutual regrets that we are being drawn into yet another round of court proceedings by Mr Moyo. We confirm that we will continue to act responsibly, remain focused on our core business and protect the interests of Old Mutual and its stakeholders," the statement read.

Moyo was suspended in May 2019 and later dismissed in June, with Old Mutual citing a breakdown in trust and a conflict of interest related to NMT Capital, a boutique investment firm Moyo co-founded. Moyo and Old Mutual have been engaged in a legal battle ever since, with Moyo contesting his dismissal.

On January 14, Old Mutual won its appeal against a July 2019 ruling by Judge Brian Mashile to have Moyo reinstated. But Moyo's legal team had since provided Old Mutual notice of their intention to take the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein. The application for leave to appeal was filed at the SCA on January 29, 2020.

According to Moyo's attorney, Eric Mabuza, the application for leave to appeal suspends the January 14 ruling. "Everyone knows if you put in an application for leave to appeal, the judgment is suspended," Mabuza told Fin24 by phone on Sunday.

Irreversible harm

Old Mutual, in the meantime, on January 26, 2020 advertised for a new CEO in Sunday newspapers. Moyo contends that if a new CEO is appointed, he will suffer irreversible harm.

"If the relief sought is not granted and Old Mutual goes ahead and hires a CEO, then the harm of permanently losing my employment is irreversible," he said. "My right to work, dignity and self-worth cannot be replaced by money," he added.

Moyo said that the harm he would suffer would be "unquantifiable" and it would not be possible to recover it by means of a damages claim.

He also claimed that there would be harm to the public interest if "contempt of court" is not "nipped in the bud in an exemplary fashion".

Moyo added that the prejudice to him and other Old Mutual stakeholders - such as the workforce and policy holders - would outweigh that to Old Mutual if a new CEO were appointed.

old mutual  |  peter moyo  |  court battle
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