Old Mutual confirms it has filed an urgent application in the High Court in Johannesburg for a declaratory order confirming that its appeal process suspends the court order reinstating former Chief Executive Officer Peter Moyo.
According to Old Mutual, the intention is for this order to deal with residual noise relating to Mr Moyo contending that he can immediately return to work. The aim of the application is to stabilise the market and to create certainty around whether Mr Moyo can return to work pending an appeal. The application is set to be heard in the High Court in Johannesburg on 13 August 2019.
This follows Old Mutual’s application on Wednesday for leave to appeal against a decision handed down on Tuesday in the case brought by its former Chief Executive Officer.
Old Mutual states in the papers that if the order were to be implemented before any appeal process, it would result in the temporary reinstatement of a Chief Executive Officer who has impugned the integrity of the company’s Board of Directors by depicting them as “delinquent”. The serious allegations made by Mr Moyo has resulted in an untenable working relationship between him and the Board.
On the advice of it’s legal team (including senior counsel), Old Mutual has adopted the position that the filing of its application for leave to appeal had the effect of suspending the order handed down on Tuesday pending the outcome of the appeal proceedings. In view of the fact that Mr Moyo disputes this, Old Mutual has instituted the urgent proceedings in the interests of certainty.
Old Mutual has maintained throughout that it believes it made the right decision to terminate Mr Moyo’s employment and that it was entitled in law to do so. Old Mutual re-iterates that its Board can and should hold the chief executive to a high standard particularly in circumstances where the contract of employment expressly requires a relationship of trust and mutual respect.
Old Mutual is confident it will be successful in the current processes before the court.
Until then the business continues as usual under the stewardship of the highly experienced Iain Williamson as interim Chief Executive Officer, supported by a strong and competent leadership team.