Old Mutual board is united, says chair Trevor Manuel as Peter Moyo battle rages on – report

Trevor Manuel.
Trevor Manuel.

Old Mutual board chairperson Trevor Manuel told Business Maverick in a text message that the board is united, contrary to the "two bulls in a kraal" narrative created by axed CEO Peter Moyo.

Manuel, Business Maverick on Friday reported, was responding to the latest development in the battle between Moyo and the financial services provider. The board must dispel the notion of "two bulls in a kraal", the chairperson said, adding that the way to do it is to "demonstrate board unity at every point".

In June Old Mutual dismissed Moyo over a breakdown in trust and conflict of interest related to NMT Capital, a boutique investment firm he co-founded. Old Mutual is one of the shareholders in the company, Fin24 previously reported.

Moyo then challenged his dismissal. On July 30, Judge Brian Mashile found that his dismissal was unlawful and ordered Old Mutual to reinstate him. Part B of Moyo's application is yet to be heard – he wants the 14-member board to be declared delinquent directors and he is also pursuing a damages claim for reputational harm.

Moyo has argued in court papers that Manuel is the one who has a conflict of interest and he was dismissed for raising this as a whistleblower.

Not only has Old Mutual filed to appeal Mashile's ruling, it also sought an urgent declaratory order to either find Mashile's ruling as final or suspend the implementation of his directives citing "exceptional circumstances", Fin24 previously reported.

Moyo in turn has put forward that the directors acted in contempt of court by barring him from returning to work. Mashile had reserved judgment on the hearing of the matter and is expected to make a decision by the end of August.

Most recently, the board on Thursday announced it issued Moyo a "further notice terminating his employment".

Old Mutual has said Moyo may decide to challenge the second notice of termination too and if so would once again defend its position. "We will stand our ground if he does, naturally and at all times continuing to respect the law and our court system," a statement from the group read.

Moyo's lawyer, Eric Mabuza, described Moyo's second dismissal as a "classic case of contempt of court".

Read the original story in Business Maverick here.

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