Former Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo has filed an urgent court application to prevent the financial services company from appointing a permanent CEO amid an ongoing legal battle.
Moyo's attorney, Eric Mabuza, confirmed to Fin24 on Sunday that the application was filed at the Johannesburg High Court on Friday. The matter is set to be heard on March 10.
In a statement issued on Sunday evening, Old Mutual said it had received the urgent application by Moyo to interdict the company's process to recruit a permanent CEO.
"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.
This latest application has added another twist in the long-running legal wrangle between Old Mutual and its former head which started back in May 2019 when Moyo was suspended. In June 2019, Old Mutual dismissed him citing a breakdown in trust and a conflict of interest related to NMT Capital, a boutique investment firm Moyo co-founded.
Moyo then legally challenged his dismissal and Judge Brian Mashile in July ordered that he be reinstated, pending the outcome of the second part of Moyo's application in which he seeks a damages claim for reputational harm.
Old Mutual, in turn, appealed the ruling. On January 14 a court ruled in favour of the company, which also allowed it to appoint a new CEO.
At the time Moyo said his legal team would take the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. According to Mabuza, leave to appeal at the SCA suspends the high court's judgment of January 14, which means Old Mutual cannot appoint a permanent CEO pending the outcomes of the case.
Mabuza said his client was forced to do it because Old Mutual wants to go ahead with a new appointment. He said that they had written to Old Mutual earlier in February to stop the company from going ahead with a new appointment, but Old Mutual "did not heed" their call.
"Everyone knows if you put in an application for leave to appeal, the judgment is suspended," Mabuza said.
This article was updated at 18:30 on Sunday, February 16, 2020 to include comment from Old Mutual.